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BUDDHISM   IN   CHRISTENDOM 


BY    THE    SAME    AUTHOR. 
THE     POPULAR     LIFE     OF     BUDDHA: 

CONTAINING     AN 

ANSWER  TO  THE  "  HIBBERT  LECTURES"  OF  1881. 
Crown  Svo,  doth,  6s. 


"Contends  that  the  atheistic  and  soulless  Buddhism  was  drawn  from  the  ' Great 
Vehicle/  which  was  a  spurious  system  introduced  about  the  time  of  the  Christian  era, 
whereas  the  'Little  Vehicle'  compiled  by  Asoka  contained  the  motto,  'Confess  and 
believe  in  God.'  There  are  a  large  number  of  passages  drawn  from  the  sacred  books, 
which  tend  to  prove  that  Mr.  Lillie  is  right  in  his  theory  of  Buddhist  theology.  Even 
Dr.  Rhys  Davids  admits  that  the  Cakkavati  Buddha  was  to  early  Buddhists  what  the 
Messiah  Logos  was  to  early  Christians.  '  If  this  be  so,'  as  Mr.  Lillie  is  justified  in  asking, 
how  can  an  atheist  believe  in  a  '  Word  of  God  made  flesh  '? 


uncompromising  antagonism'to  all  national  religious  rites  that  were  opposed  to  the  gnosis 
or  spiritual  development  of  the  individual ;  beggary,  continence,  and  asceticism  for 
religious  teachers." — Spectator. 

'"  Contains  many  quotations  from  the  Buddhist  religious  writings,  which  are  beautiful 
and  profound— a  most  readable  book."— Saturday  Re-view. 

"  Our  author  has  unquestionably  the  story-teller's  gift,  and  is  able  to  infuse  into  his 
allegorical  Buddha  something  of  the  personal  power  and  sweet  magnanimity  which  must 
have  distinguished  the  beloved  Tathagata.  What  is  more,  Mr.  Lillie,  who  has  evidently 
been  an  eye-witness  of  the  scenes  he  describes,  most  happily  relieves  the  somewhat 
monotonous  marvels  of  the  '  Lalita  Vistara,'  with  bright  realistic  pictures  of  Indian 
religious  ceremonies  and  jungle  scenery."—  6" t.  James's  Gazette. 

"  Mr.  Lillie  shows  that  Buddha's  object  was,  as  Christ's  was  afterwards,  to  teach  a 
belief  in'a  spiritual  God,  and  a  future  state  of  existence  depending  on  the  spiritual  state 
of  the  soul  in  this  life,  and  to  destroy  priestcraft.  Instead  of  his  disciples  denying  a  God, 
they  honoured  Him,  solely  because  they  believe  that  God  spoke  through  him."—  West 
minster  Review. 

"  A  story  of  marvellous  interest.  .  .  .  The  author  has  treated  his  subject  with  great 
lucidity  and  vigour,  and  displays  great  acuteness  and  erudition."— Liverpool  Albion. 

"  The  main  object  of  the  volume  is  to  refute  the  erroneous  view  of  Buddhism  furnished 
by  the  Hibbert  Lectures  of  1881,  and  the  refutation  is  complete.  ...  Mr.  Lillie  shows, 
on  the  best  authority,  that  at  the  time  of  Hwen  Thsang,  when  the  controversy  between 
the  two  parties  was  furiously  raging,  the  Buddhism  of  Ceylon  was  that  of  the  Great 
Vehicle,  the  innovating  Buddhism.  ...  Dr.  Rhys  Davids  has  plainly  shuffled  the  two 
Buddhisms  together."— Public  Opinion. 

LONDON  :  KEGAN  PAUL,  TRENCH  &  Co.,  i,  PATERNOSTER  SQUARE. 


"REHOI.D,  i  HAV 
Frontispiece,  ] 


CHRIST    WITH    THE    CHAJOTH. 

SET  HEKORE  THEE  A  DOOR  OPENED."—  REV.  iii 


BP 


B* 

I  9.^7 


(.The  rights  of  translation  and  of  reproduction  arc  reserved.) 


PREFACE. 


IT  has  been  wisely  said  that,  to  understand  any  solitary 
religion,  two,  at  least,  must  be  studied.  This  seems  essen 
tially  important  when  the  religion  is  Eastern,  and  the  student 
has  been  educated  in  the  West.  There  is  a  tendency  in  the 
human  mind  to  explain  to  itself  that  which  is  remote  by  that 
which  is  familiar.  The  Western  mind  is  logical,  matter-of- 
fact,  impatient  of  symbolism.  And  yet  Christianity  is  an 
Asiatic  religion,  and  all  Asiatics  tell  us  that  symbolism  is 
the  only  language  by  which  the  facts  of  the  spiritual  world 
can  be  treated. 

Thus  it  has  been  shown  by  the  Orientalist,  Professor 
Wilson,  that  the  three  Avesthas  of  the  Trinity  (translated 
"  hypostases "  by  the  Gnostics)  have  come  from  India.1 
Colebrooke  has  pointed  out  that  the  hymns  of  the  Rig  Veda, 
though  avowedly  addressed  to  many  deities,  are,  "  according 
to  the  most  ancient  annotations  of  the  Indian  scripture," 
resolvable  into  a  triad,  and,  ultimately,  "  one  God."  ^  It  seems 
to  result  from  this  that  the  meaning  of  this  triad  may  be 
more  profitably  sought  in  the  ancient  Indian  books  than  in 
vaticinations  of  the  blunt  and  literal  monks  that  composed 
the  Council  of  Niccea. 

We  interpret  the  great  drama  that  began  our  era  by  our 
local  experience.  Thus  the  author  of  "  Ecce  Homo "  has 
pictured  to  himself  the  great  sacramentum,  or  mystery  of 

1  "Vishnu  Parana,"  p.  7,  note.  2  "  Essays,"  vol.  i.  p.  25. 

<*  3 


VI  PREFACE. 

Christianity,  by  his  experience  of  "  club  dinners."  And 
Archdeacon  Paley  has  seen  in  the  twelve  apostles  twelve 
British  jurymen  empanneled  to  investigate  "miracles." 
I  must  confess  that,  until  I  studied  the  religions  of  the 
East,  the  great  drama  of  Palestine  appeared  to  me  a  drama 
with  unintelligible  antagonisms  and  a  motiveless  character. 

The  Old  and  New  Testaments  are  studied  very  carefully 
in  England,  and  the  Indian  religions  are  scarcely  studied  at 
all.  And  yet  the  latter  throw  quite  invaluable  light  on  the 
former.  To  this  day  the  maidens  of  Krishna  weep  for  the 
Indian  Tammuz,  the  departed  god  of  summer.  To  this  day, 
as  in  the  days  of  Aaron,  the  priest  of  Siva  throws  ashes  in 
the  air  to  bring  a  malediction  on  his  foemen.  To  this  day 
the  Indian  prophet  sits  under  the  "  tree  of  Deborah  "  and  the 
"  oak  of  enchantments."  x  He  explains  to  us  the  mystery 
of  yoga,  or  union  between  the  seen  and  the  unseen  worlds. 
He  explains  to  us  what  the  Roman  Catholic  Prayer-book 
means  by  its  prayer  that,  as  Christ  deigned  to  become  a  par 
ticipator  in  our  humanity,  we  may  be  allowed  to  partake  of 
His  Divinity. 

If  only  for  the  sake  of  historical  illustration,  a  civilization 
which  is  still  so  like  the  civilization  of  Palestine  in  the  holy 
epoch  deserves  to  be  studied. 

The  position  of  her  gracious  Majesty  Queen  Victoria  is  a 
very  peculiar  one.  In  the  sixteenth  century,  one  Trithemius, 
a  Benedictine,  uttered  a  strange  prophecy.  He  announced 
that,  in  November,  1879,  a  new  universal  kingdom  would 
arise  which  would  seize  the  gates  of  the  East.  Whatever 
may  be  thought  of  this  prediction,  it  is  plain  that  the  gates 
of  the  East  are  now  in  English  hands.  Owing  to  free-trade, 
also,  fifty-five  out  of  every  hundred  sailors  on  the  ocean  are 
Englishmen  ;  and  the  even  balance  of  military  force  on  the 
Continent,  as  well  as  in  the  opposing  sections  of  the  United 
States,  has  given  to  us  a  physical  prominence  that  the 
1  See  Dean  Stanley's  "  Sinai  and  Palestine,"  p.  141. 


PREFACE.  Vii 

victories  of  Marlborough  and  Wellington  failed  to  gain  us. 
But  if  we  leave  the  plane  of  matter,  the  position  of  the  queen 
is  more  remarkable  still.  She  holds  in  her  dominions  the 
most  vital  sections  of  all  the  great  religions  of  the  past.  Her 
subjects  pray  to  Christ,  and  Buddha,  and  Brahma,  and 
Jehovah.  They  honour  Zarathustra  and  Moses  and  Ma 
homet.  Benares,  the  holy  city  of  the  greatest  religious  section 
of  her  subjects,  is  in  her  domains.  She  guards  the  so-called 
"  Tooth  of  Buddha,"  whose  possessor  is  always  promised  the 
empire  of  the  world.  No  wonder  that  thoughtful  minds 
begin  to  see  in  all  this  a  possible  mission  for  England, 
namely,  to  fuse  the  old  creeds  in  one  great  crucible,  and 
eliminate  the  superstitious  parts.  Ancient  creeds  had  much 
once  in  common,  and  it  is  chiefly  this  common  portion,  the 

vital  essence,  that  has  been  allowed  to  evaporate. 

^ 
"  Five  hundred  years,  Ananda,"  said  Buddha,  in  the  "  Cul- 

lavagga,"  "will  the  doctrine  of  the  truth  abide!"1  He  also 
prophesied  that  a  new  Buddha  would  come — Maitreya  (the 
Buddha  of  Brotherly  Love).  Buddha  died  470  B.C.  ;  so 
exactly  five  hundred  years  after  his  death,  the  Buddha  of 
Brotherly  Love  began  to  preach. 

1  Cited   by    Dr.    Oldenberg,    "  Buddhism,"  p.    327  ;    see    also    Beal, 
"  Romantic  History,"  p.  16. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  I. 

PAGE 

Object  of  Ancient  Scriptures — To  reveal  the  Mysteries — The  "  Kab 
balah  " — Origen — The  Heavenly  Man— The  Conceivable  and 
the  Inconceivable  God — Genealogies  of  Buddha  and  Christ — 
Miraculous  Conception — The  Elephant i 

CHAPTER  II. 

The  Double  Annunciation — Birth  of  Buddha  under  a  Bending  Tree 
— Similar  Legends  concerning  Christ — The  Star  of  Buddha  and 
the  Star  of  Christ — The  Buddhist  Simeon — Name-giving  not  a 
Jewish  rite — The  Child  Christ  and  the  Sparrows — King  Herod 
and  King  Bimbisara— "  Thy  Parents  seek  Thee  "  ...  14 

CHAPTER  III. 

The  Homage  of  the  Idols — "  Gold,  and  Frankincense,  and  Myrrh1' — 
The  Disputation  with  the  Doctors 

CHAPTER  IV. 

"Out  of  Egypt  have  I  called  My  Son"— "The  Great  City  which 
spiritually  is  called  Sodom  and  Egypt" — Two  Mothers  of  the 
Perfected  Mystic — Two  Births — Why  Mary  and  her  Son  are 
always  together  in  the  "  Gospel  of  the  Infancy  " 35 

CHAPTER  V. 
Buddha's  "  Great  Renunciation  "  41 

CHAPTER  VI. 

The  Nazarite — Mystical  and  Anti-rnystical  Israel — Christ  usually 
supposed  to  have  belonged  to  the  latter — Position  combated — 
Early  Persecution  of  Disciples  ...  ,..  ...  ...  ...  64 


X 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  VII. 

PAGE 

Mystical  Israel— Essenes  and  Therapeuts— Letter  of  Philo  to  He- 
pha^stion— Therapeut  and  Buddhist  Monasteries— Points  of 
Contact  between  the  Buddhists  and  Israel  Mystical— The 
Buddhist  and  Essene  Baptism— The  Buddhist  and  Essene 
Mysterium 

CHAPTER  VIII. 
Buddhism  and  the  u  Kabbalah "...  ...       86 

CHAPTER  IX. 

The  Baptist— "The  People  prepared  for  the  Lord"— Were  they 
Essenes?— o  NaCapaTos— Nazarites  or  Sabeans— The  Book  of 
Adam  ... 

CHAPTER  X. 

Jesus  and  the  Baptist— Great  Importance  of  the  Baptism  of  Jesus — 
Initiation  of  Early  Christians— Buddha's  Baptism,  Fasting,  and 
Temptation  ...  ...  107 

CHAPTER  XI. 

Growth  in  Spirit  symbolized  by  the  Growth  of  the  Food  of 
the  People— Buddhist  Festivals  regulated  by  Rice  Culture — 
The  Zodiac  as  a  Symbol  of  Stages  of  Spiritual  Progress— In 
Buddhism— In  Christianity— The  "Monastery  of  our  Lord" 
— Description  by  Josephus  ...  •••  IJ6 

CHAPTER  XII. 

The  u  Signs  of  an  Apostle  "—Conflicting  views  of  Catholics  and 
Protestants  about  Miraculous  Gifts— Magic  Rites  of  the  "  Kab 
balah"— The  "Twelve  Great  Disciples"  of  Buddhism— "  Go 
ye  into  all  the  World  "  —  :32 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

Essenism  in  the  Bible  —  Continence  exacted  with  Communism, 
Vegetarianism,  and  Water-drinking— "  Follow  Me"  — The 
Voice  in  the  Sky— The  King  of  Remedies— The  Buddhist 
"  Sermon  on  the  Mount"— The  Buddhist  Beatitudes— The  New 
Commandment  ...  ...  ...  ...144. 

CHAPTER  XIV. 

"Glad  Tidings  "—Faith— The  Sower— The  Armour  of  Light— 
"  How  hardly  shall  they  that  have  Riches  instruct  themselves 
in  the  Way" — Names  of  Buddha — The  Metempsychosis  in  Ju 
daism  and  Christianity  157 


CONTENTS.  XI 

CHAPTER  XV. 

PAGE 

Feeding  the  Multitudes — Similarity  to  Buddhist  Festivals — Feet- 
washing— Walking  on  the  Water— Parables— Dress  167 

CHAPTER  XVI. 

Christianity  and  Buddhism  at  first  propagated  secretly — Descent 
into  Hell — Transfiguration  on  a  Mount — Triumphal  Entry  into 
the  "City  of  the  King" — The  Buddhist  "Last  Supper"— Cup 
of  Agony— Portents  at  the  Death  of  a  Buddha — "They  parted 
My  Garments" — Trinity  in  Unity  ...  185 

CHAPTER  XVII. 

Ritual — Saint  Worship — Cosmology — Progress  of  Buddhism — In 
dulgences —  Dispensations — Councils  to  put  down  Heresy — 
Close  Similarities  in  the  Election  of  the  Grand  Lama  and  the 
Pope  ...  202 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 
How  did  Buddhism  reach  the  West  ?    ...  ...     230 

CHAPTER  XIX. 
Christianity  at  Alexandria — The  Church  at  Jerusalem          241 

CHAPTER  XX. 
Bishop  Lightfoot  on  the  Essenes  ...  ...     257 

CHAPTER  XXI. 

Pope  Victor — Rome  supersedes  Jerusalem — The  Introduction  of 
Religion  by  Body-Corporate — Marcion — He  represented  the 
Teaching  of  St.  Paul — His  Gospel — Accused  and  Accusers 
changing  Places — Testimony  of  Marcion  against  Roman  Inno 
vators  286 

CHAPTER  XXII. 

Rama— The  "  Grove  of  Perfection  "—Early  Brahmin  Rites— Bow- 
shooting — Marriage  of  Rama — Palace  Intrigues — Banished  to 
the  Forest — Rape  of  Sita — Hanuman — Passage  of  Adam's 
Bridge  by  Monkeys — Fight  between  Rama  and  Ravana  ...  304 

CHAPTER  XXIII. 

Zodiacal  Interpretation  of  the  Story — The  Horse  the  Indian  Aries 
— The  Lower  Marriage — The  Indian  Tree  or  Virgo  with  the 
Lion  Throne— The  Bird  Garuda— Scorpion  and  the  Bow— The 
Elephant,  Cup,  and  Quoit  of  Death  327 


Xll  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XXIV. 

PAGE 

Eleusis — Similarity  between  the  Story  of  Rama  and  the  Story  of 
Bacchus— Other  Points  of  Contact  between  the  Indian  and 
Eleusinian  Mysteries ..  343 

CHAPTER  XXV. 
The  Legend  of  Osiris — The  Novice  Utanka — Hiram  Abif 347 

CHAPTER  XXVI. 
The  A vatara  of  Krishna    ...         ...         ...         ..,         ...         ...         ...     365 

CHAPTER  XXVII. 
The  Legend  of  the  Five  Sons  of  Pandu  ...         ...         ...         ...     384 

INDEX  ...  407 


ILLUSTRATIONS. 

CHRIST  WITH  THE  CHAJOTH  ...  ...      Frontispiece 

THE  FOUR  HORSES  OF  THE  APOCALYPSE   ...              ...  To  face      36 

RUDE  MONASTERY,  SIAM          ...            ...            ...  „  75 

WORSHIP  OF  BUDDHA  AS  THE  RICE-CAKE   ...            ...  „  83 

OLD  BUDDHIST  ZODIAC              ...            ...            ...  „  119 

BUDDHA  PREACHING            ...            ...            ...            ...  „  140 

BUDDHIST  MONKS        ...            ...                          ...  „  182 

BUDDHIST  NUNS,  THE  BLACK  AND  WHITE  VEIL  ...  „  184 

TRIRATNA  OUTLINE      ...            ...            ...            ...  200 

THE  GNOSTIC  TRIAD          ...             ...            ...            ...  j}  2oi 

THE  BUDDHIST  VIRGIN  AND  CHILD      ...            ...  })  205 

THE  CAVE-TEMPLE  OF  KARLI         ...             ...            ...  „  207 

THE  BUDDHIST  HIGH  ALTAR  ...            ...            ...  „  208 

BUDDHA  APPEARING  AT  THE  ALTAR  DURING  WORSHIP  „  210 
THE  HEAVENS    AS    CONCEIVED   BY   THE    BUDDHISTS 

OF  CEYLON    ...  22I 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  I. 

Object  of  Ancient  Scriptures — To  reveal  the  Mysteries — The  "Kabbalah" 
— Origen — The  Heavenly  Man — The  Conceivable  and  the  Incon 
ceivable  God — Genealogies  of  Buddha  and  Christ — Miraculous  Con 
ception — The  Elephant. 

ANCIENT  SCRIPTURES. 

ORIGEN  informs  us  that  all  Scriptures  have  two  meanings 
—the  one  spiritual,  the  other  "  historical  "  or  "  bodily,"  the  last 
for  those  that  are  not  prepared  to  know  the  mysteries  of  the 
kingdom  of  heaven. 

These  mysteries  in  all  ancient  religions  were,  in  brief,  that 
man  had  matter  for  a  mother,  and  spirit  for  a  father  ;  and  that 
the  object  of  his  earth-life  was  to  conquer  his  material  nature 
and  unite  himself  with  the  Great  Spirit  of  the  universe.  The 
Christian  "  mysteries  "  did  not  differ  in  essence  from  the  other 
mysteries.  This  fact  was  put  forward  as  a  virtue  by  the 
early  Fathers  of  the  Church,  although  it  has  since  been  deemed 
a  blemish  and  denied. 

The  process  by  which  man  advanced  in  knowledge  of 
spirit  was  called  the  "  contemplative  life "  in  Palestine  ; 
"  magic  "  in  Persia  ;  the  "  Bodhi,"  or  "  Buddhism,"  in  India  ; 
"Gnosticism,"  the  Greek  equivalent  of  the  Indian  word  in 
Alexandria. 

B 


2  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

About  two  hundred  years  before  the  Christian  era  a  re 
markable  mystical  movement  arose  amongst  the  Jews.  It 
came  from  Alexandria,  but  its  head-quarters  in  Palestine 
nestled  amongst  the  protecting  malaria  of  the  shores  of  the 
Lake  Marea,  for  it  was  bitterly  persecuted.  In  Egypt  these 
mystics  were  called  Therapeuts  ;  in  Palestine,  Essenes  and 
Nazarites.  In  the  view  of  Dean  Hansel,  this  movement  was 
due  to  Buddhist  missionaries,  who  visited  Egypt  within  two 
generations  of  the  time  of  Alexander  the  Great 1 — a  proposi 
tion  which  I  shall  show  is  confirmed  by  the  stones  of  King 
Asoka  in  the  East,  and  by  Philo  in  the  West.  I  shall  show, 
further,  that  the  rites  of  this,  the  higher  section  of  Judaism, 
were  purely  Buddhist,  and  that  two  remarkable  works,  which 
embody  their  teaching,  minutely  reproduce  the  theogony  of 
Buddhism.  These  works  are  the  "  Sohar  "  of  the  "  Kabbalah," 
and  the  "  Codex  Nasarseus." 

I  purpose  further  to  show  that  Christianity  emerged  from 
this,  the  higher  Judaism,  and  that  its  Bible,  containing  the 
life  of  its  Founder,  its  rites,  dress,  teachings,  hierarchy, 
architectural  buildings,  Councils  to  put  down  heresy,  theogony 
and  cosmogony,  bear  so  minute  a  resemblance  to  the  rites, 
etc.,  of  Buddhism,  that  it  seems  hard  to  doubt  that  some 
communication  existed  and  long  continued  between  the  two. 
Does  this  mean  that  Christianity  "  was  borrowed  en  bloc  from 
Buddhism  "  ?  as  the  Church  Quarterly  Review,  misquoting  an 
early  work  of  mine,  reports  me  to  have  announced.  It 
certainly  does  not  mean  that,  for  no  mysticism  can  be 
borrowed  from  the  outside  world  at  all.  It  simply  means 
that  the  movement  of  Jesus  sought  the  aid  of  mystical,  and 
not  anti-mystical,  Israel.  In  Palestine,  as  in  India,  the  gnosis, 
or  knowledge  of  the  mysteries  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven, 
was  restricted  to  a  priestly  faction,  and  Christ's  main  design, 
like  that  of  Buddha,  was  to  break  up  this  exclusiveness. 

To  get  the    meaning   of  an   ancient    Scripture   eighteen 

hundred  years  after  it  was  written,  it  is  important  to  study 

less  the  words  than  the  writers   of  the  words.     Christianity 

and  its  gospel  emerged  from  the  mystical  section  of  Israel. 

1  "Gnostic  Heresies,"  p.  31. 


ANCIENT  SCRIPTURES.  3 

Have  we  any  means  of  judging  what  canons  of  composition 
would  guide  such  writers  in  framing  a  life  of  Jesus,  or  Samson, 
or  David  ?  Fortunately  we  possess  the  "  Kabbalah,"  the  secret 
wisdom  of  these  mystics.  Listen  to  the  "  Sohar  "  on  the  Jewish 
Scriptures — 

"  If  the  Law  simply  consisted  of  ordinary  expressions 
and  narratives,  e.g.  the  words  of  Esau,  Hagar,  Laban, 
the  ass  of  Balaam,  or  of  Balaam  himself,  why  should  it  be 
called  the  Law  of  truth,  the  perfect  Law,  the  true  witness  of 
God  ?  Each  word  contains  a  sublime  source,  each  narrative 
points,  not  only  to  the  single  instance  in  question,  but  also  to 
generals  "  ("  Sohar,"  iii.  149  &). 

"Woe  be  to  the  son  of  man  who  says  that  the  Tora 
[Pentateuch]  contains  common  sayings  and  ordinary  narra 
tives.  For  if  this  were  the  case,  we  might  in  the  present  day 
compose  a  code  of  doctrines  from  profane  writings  which 
should  excite  greater  respect.  If  the  Law  contains  ordinary 
matter,  then  there  are  nobler  sentiments  in  profane  odes. 
Let  us  go  and  make  a  selection  from  them,  and  we  shall  be 
able  to  compile  a  far  superior  code.  But  every  word  of  the 
Law  has  a  sublime  sense  and  a  heavenly  mystery.  .  .  .  Now, 
the  spiritual  angels  had  to  put  on  an  earthly  garment  when 
they  descended  to  earth  ;  and  if  they  had  not  put  on  such  a 
garment  they  could  neither  have  remained  nor  have  been 
understood  on  the  earth.  And  just  as  it  was  with  the  angels, 
so  it  is  with  the  Law.  When  it  descended  on  earth  the  Law 
had  to  put  on  an  earthly  garment  to  be  understood  by  us, 
and  the  narratives  are  its  garment.  There  are  some  who 
think  that  this  garment  is  the  real  Law,  and  not  the  spirit 
which  it  clothed  ;  but  these  have  no  portion  in  the  world  to 
come.  And  it  is  for  this  reason  that  David  prayed,  '  Open 
Thou  mine  eyes,  that  I  may  behold  the  wondrous  things  out 
of  Thy  Law'  (Ps.  cxix.  18).  What  is  under  the  garment  of 
the  Law  ?  There  is  the  garment  which  every  one  can  see  ; 
and  there  are  foolish  people  who,  when  they  see  a  well- 
dressed  man,  think  of  nothing  more  worthy  than  his  beautiful 
garment,  and  take  it  for  the  body,  whilst  the  worth  of  the 
body  itself  consists  in  the  soul.  The  Law,  too,  has  a  body. 


4  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

This  is  the  commandments  which  are  called  the  body  of 
the  Law.  This  body  is  clothed  in  garments  which  are  the 
ordinary  narratives.  The  fools  of  this  world  look  at  nothing 
else  but  this  garment,  which  consists  of  the  narratives  of  the 
Law.  They  do  not  know  any  more,  and  do  not  understand 
what  is  beneath  this  garment.  But  those  who  have  more 
understanding  do  not  look  at  the  garment,  but  at  the  body 
beneath  it  (i.e.  the  moral)  ;  whilst  the  wisest,  the  servants  of 
the  heavenly  King  who  dwells  at  Mount  Sinai,  look  at 
nothing  else  but  the  soul  (i.e.  the  secret  doctrine),  which  is  the 
root  of  all  the  real  Law  ;  and  these  are  destined  in  the  world 
to  come  to  behold  the  Soul  of  this  soul  (i.e.  the  Deity),  which 
breathes  in  the  Law"  ("  Sohar,"  iii.  152  a).1 

Origen  also  affirms  that  the  object  of  all  Scriptures,  the 
Jewish  and  the  Christian,  is  "  to  wrap  up  and  conceal,  under 
the  covering  of  some  history  and  narrative  of  visible  things, 
the  hidden  mysteries."2  He  says,  further,  that  the  outside 
story  or  historical  narrative  contains  purposely  interruptions, 
improbabilities,  impossibilities.  All  this  is  done  by  the  Holy 
Spirit,  "  in  order  that,  seeing  those  events  which  lie  on  the 
surface  can  be  neither  true  nor  useful,  we  may  be  led  to  the 
investigation  of  that  truth  which  is  more  deeply  concealed, 
and  to  the  ascertaining  of  a  meaning  worthy  of  God  in  those 
Scriptures  which  we  believe  to  be  inspired  by  Him."  £ 

He  says,  further,  that  the  Christian  Scriptures,  like  the 
Jewish,  are  to  be  subjected  to  the  same  canons  of  interpreta 
tion.  In  the  case  of  Christ's  temptation,  for  instance,  on  the 
surface  this  cannot  plainly  be  a  literal  narrative  of  a  purely 
historical  event.  "  And  many  other  instances  similar  to  this 
will  be  found  in  the  Gospels  by  any  one  who  will  read  them 
with  attention  and  will  observe  that  in  those  narratives  which 
appear  to  be  literally  recorded  there  are  inserted  and  inter 
woven  things  which  cannot  be  admitted  historically,  but  which 
may  be  accepted  in  a  spiritual  signification." 4 

1  Ginsburg,  "  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  47. 

2  "  De  Principiis,"  lib.  iv.  cap.  i. 

3  "Anti-Nicene  Christian  Library  :  Origen,"  i.  p.  311. 

4  Ibid.,  p.  317. 


ANCIENT  SCRIPTURES.  5 

Turning  to  the  life  of  Buddha,  as  contained  in  the  "  Lalita 
Vistara,"  we  find  that  that  work  also  explicitly  states  that 
it  is  written  to  reveal  the  mysteries  of  the  Indian  wise  men 
(Buddhas),  and  show  how  a  mortal  can  acquire  the  "  divine 
vision,"  with  its  concomitant  "  magical  powers."  1 

When  we  see  thus  that  the  lives  of  Jesus  and  of  Buddha 
are  framed  upon  the  same  lines,  we  should  not  be  astonished 
to  find  considerable  analogy  between  them.  As  a  revelation 
of  the  mysteries,  they  must  be  almost  identical,  if  there  is  great 
divergence  historically.  But  if  our  somewhat  material  modern 
theology  errs  in  one  direction  in  attempting  to  eliminate  the 
mystical  element,  certain  mystical  writers,  like  Mr.  Melville 
and  Mr.  Frederick  Tennyson,  have  erred  as  conspicuously  in 
another.  They  have  sought  to  eliminate  the  historical  element 
with  equal  completeness,  forgetting  a  prominent  doctrine  of 
all  mysticism,  that  all  things  in  the  unseen  world  have  their 
counterparts  in  the  seen. 

"  The  lower  world,"  says  the  "  Sohar  "  (ii.  20  a\  "  is  made 
after  the  pattern  of  the  upper  world.  Everything  that  exists 
in  the  upper  world  is  to  be  found,  as  it  were,  in  a  copy  upon 
earth.  Still  the  whole  is  one."  2 

PURUSHA,   THE    HEAVENLY   MAN. 

"  God,  who  at  sundry  times  and  in  divers  manners  spake  in  time  past 
unto  the  fathers  by  the  prophets,  hath  in  these  last  days  spoken  unto  us 
by  His  Son,  whom  He  hath  appointed  Heir  of  all  things,  by  whom  also 
He  made  the  worlds  ;  who  being  the  Brightness  of  His  glory,  and  the 
express  Image  of  His  Person,  and  upholding  all  things  by  the  word  of 
His  power,  when  He  had  by  Himself  purged  our  sins,  sat  down  on  the 
right  hand  of  the  Majesty  on  high"  (Heb.  i.). 

In  the  Pali  legendary  life  of  Buddha,  when  the  holy  infant 
first  sees  the  light,  the  immortal  spirits  thus  greet  him— 

"  O  Purusha,  the  equal  to  thee  exists  not  here.  Where 
will  a  superior  be  found  ? " 

Who  was  Purusha  ? 

From  very  early  days    man  seems   to  have    known  that 

1  Foucaux's  translation,  pp.  7,  401. 

2  See  Ginsburg,  p.  22. 


6  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

he  had  a  great  destiny  before  him.  This  was  to  unite  himself 
at  length,  without  loss  of  individuality,  with  the  Great  Spirit 
of  the  universe.  Thus  a  delicate  problem  arose,  namely,  how 
to  find  some  analogy  or  symbolic  connection  between  the 
two-legged  creature,  man,  and  the  splendid  mountains  and 
seas  and  stars  that  clothed  the  Great  Spirit.  Two  answers 
suggested  themselves. 

1.  God  was  imaged  as   a  transcendental   man.       In    the 
"  Kabbalah,"  or  secret  wisdom  of  the  Jews,  he  was  called  "the 
Heavenly  Man,"  and    he   represented   the   universe   and    its 
breathing  inhabitants.     This  was  the  Indian  Purusha. 

2.  The   second   solution   took   for   symbol   the   dome   of 
heaven,  with  the  ecliptic  for  base,  and  the  Dragon,  "  the  Centre 
of  the  Macrocosm,"  as  it  is  called  in  the  "Kabbalah,"  for  apex. 
This  figured  God,  and  it  was  feigned  that  man,  in  his  passage 
from  the  animal    to   the  deific,   passed  through   the  various 
mansions  of  the  ecliptic  like  the  sun.      "The  mysteries  are 
written  in  the  vault  of  heaven,"  says  the  "  Kabbalah." 

The  great  bible  of  Catholic  mystics  has  always  been  the 
works  of  the  so-called  Dionysius  the  Areopagite.  These  may 
not  be  quite  due  to  St.  Denis  of  France,  as  Parisian  abbes 
imagine  ;  and  A.D.  go  may  be  too  early  a  date  for  them  ;  but 
it  is  difficult  to  date  them  A.D.  600,  as  is  now  the  fashion,  for 
without  doubt  we  get  in  them  an  able  exposition  of  early 
Christian  Gnosticism.  The  absence  of  anything  like  a  con 
troversial  tone  is  very  remarkable.  The  writer  does  not  seem 
to  be  aware  that  there  is  any  other  Christianity  besides  his 
lofty  mysticism.  If  he  had  had  any  knowledge  of  the 
shallow  diatribes  of  Irenseus  and  Tertullian,  he  would  cer 
tainly  have  met  some  of  their  anti-Gnostic  arguments  at  least 
indirectly. 

St.  Dionysius  affirms  that,  in  the  view  of  the  Therapeut, 
or  perfected  mystic,  God  is  a  Being  dwelling  in  the  super- 
luminous  obscurity  which  it  is  the  special  function  of  the 
mystic  to  try  and  pierce.  This  God  can  only  be  defined 
by  negatives,  and  He  is  to  be  understood  by  Agnosticism 
rather  than  Gnosticism.  He  has  no  form,  body,  quantity, 
quality,  action,  passion.  He  cannot  be  called  Soul,  Know- 


ANCIENT  SCRIPTURES.  7 

ledge,  Wisdom,  Father,  Son.  "  He  made  darkness  His  secret 
place,"  says  the  writer,  citing  Ps.  xviii.  12.  "His  pavilion 
round  about  Him  was  the  dark  waters." l 

The  descent  of  this  inert,  inconceivable  God  is  the  main 
teaching  of  Buddhism.     The  Indian  Capricorn  (I  copy  a  bas- 


Fig.  i. 


relief  from   Buddha  Gaya)  is  an  elephant  emerging  from  a 
makara,  or  leviathan.     This  is  the  meaning  of  Buddha  coming 
to  earth  as  a  white  elephant. 
It  is  called  in  the  "  Lalita  Vis- 
tara,"    Airavana  (born   of  the 
waters).2     In  the  symbolism  of 
the  catacombs  this  sea-monster 
is  equally    prominent.      "The 
sign  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven 

is  the  Prophet  Jonah,"  said  Christ.      In  consequence,  we  con 
stantly  see  his  figure  emerging   from    a  sea-monster.      But 


1  St.  Denys,  "  CEuvres,"  traduites  par  1'Abbe  J.  Deluc,  pp.  306,  314. 

2  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  196. 


s 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


sometimes     the  "Jonah"  is  only  a  child  (Fig.  3).     This,  of 
course,  means  that  Jonah  is  the  Child  Christ.     Fig.  4,  also 

from  the  catacombs,  is  an 
interesting  one.  Christ's 
special  symbol  is  Aries, 
which  in  India  is  a  horse. 
Here  we  see  the  horse 
emerging  from  the  waters. 
It  is  significative  of  the 
great  distance  that  we  have 
travelled  from  the  epoch 
of  Christ  that  modern 
thought  pronounces  all 
this  barren  and  fanciful,  and  modern  theology  actually  con 
demns  it.  In  point  of  fact,  the  Gnosticism  that  is  taught  in 
the  rude  frescoes  of  Jonah  in  the  catacombs  is  the  sole  idea 
in  this  world  of  appearances  that  is  not  barren.  We  have 


Fig.  4. 

come  here  to  learn  by  experience  the  distinction  between 
matter  and  spirit ;  and  St.  Dionysius,  whatever  his  date,  gives 
us  the  secret  teaching  of  the  early  Church.  In  the  Fathers 
we  get  often  the  same  teaching,  less  lucidly  expressed. 

Tertullian  draws  a  distinction  between  the  active  Christ 
and   "the  Father  who  is  invisible  and  unapproachable  and 


ANCIENT  SCRIPTURES.  9 

placid."  He  cites  the  Saviour  as  saying  that  "  no  man 
knoweth  the  Father,  save  the  Son."  Of  Christ  he  says  that 
"  He  it  was  who  at  all  times  came  down  to  hold  converse  with 
men  from  Adam  on  to  the  patriarchs  and  prophets  in  vision, 
in  dream,  in  mirror,  in  dark  saying ; "  He  is  Creator  and 
Judge.1 

From  this  veiled  God  it  is  possible,  of  course,  to  derive 
atheism  ;  but  it  is  patent  that  the  basic  idea  is  the  very 
reverse  of  atheistic.  "  God  is  called  Reason,"  says  St. 
Dionysius.2 

In  Buddhism,  both  the  veiled  and  the  unveiled  God  are 
called  Buddha  (divine  intelligence) — a  curious  name  to  select 
if  God  then  meant  unintelligent  causation.  Many  Asiatics 
now  hold  that  God  is  not  a  Being,  but  only  a  lofty  state  of 
the  human  soul.  Such  an  idea  could  only  have  sprung  from 
theism.  We  must  conceive  God  before  we  can  strive  to  be 
like  Him.  We  must  believe  in  Him  before  we  can  discard 
Him. 

This  Heavenly  Man  of  the  "Kabbalah"  was  plainly  also 
St.  Paul's  idea  of  Christ :  "  For  as  the  body  is  one,  and  hath 
many  members,  and  all  the  members  of  that  one  body,  being 
many,  are  one  body  :  so  also  is  Christ.  For  by  one  Spirit 
are  we  all  baptized  into  one  body,  whether  we  be  Jews  or 
Gentiles,  whether  we  be  bond  or  free  ;  and  have  been  all 
made  to  drink  into  one  Spirit.  But  now  hath  God  set  the 
members  every  one  of  them  in  the  body,  as  it  hath  pleased 
Him.  And  if  they  were  all  one  member,  where  were  the 
body  ?  But  now  are  they  many  members,  yet  but  one  body. 
Now  ye  are  the  body  of  Christ,  and  members  in  particular  " 
(i  Cor.  xii.). 

Let  us  turn  now  to  the  first  chapter  of  Colossians  :  "  Who 
hath  delivered  us  from  the  power  of  darkness,  and  hath  trans 
lated  us  into  the  kingdom  of  His  dear  Son  :  who  is  the  Image 
of  the  invisible  God,  the  Firstborn  of  every  creature :  for  by 
Him  were  all  things  created,  that  are  in  heaven,  and  that  are 

1  See  Tert,  "  V.  Marc.,"  bk.  ii.  cap.  xxvii.  ;  also  "  Treatise  against 
Praxeas,"  xvi. 

2  "  On  the  Divine  Name,"  cap.  vii.  par.  4. 


10  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

in  earth,  visible  and  invisible,  whether  they  be  thrones,  or 
dominions,  or  principalities,  or  powers  :  all  things  were  created 
by  Him,  and  for  Him  :  and  He  is  before  all  things,  and  by 
Him  all  things  consist.  And  He  is  the  Head  of  the  body, 
the  Church :  who  is  the  beginning,  the  Firstborn  from  the 
dead ;  that  in  all  things  He  might  have  the  pre-eminence." 

This  gives  us  St.  Paul's  idea  of  Christ.  He  is  humanity, 
like  the  Indian  Purusha,  the  fashioned  kosmos  as  distin 
guished  from  the  unfashioned.  Buddha  is  the  "  Lord  of  the 
three  regions  (heaven,  earth,  and  hell)."  The  Pope's  tiara 
is  called  Triregno. 

GENEALOGIES. 

"The  book  of  the  generation  of  Jesus  Christ"  (Matt.  i.  i). 

Seydel  has  a  chapter  on  the  genealogies  of  Buddha  and 
Christ.1  In  the  "  Lalita  Vistara"  and  other  biographies  of 
Buddha  are  long  lists  of  the  ancestors,  both  of  Queen  Maya 
the  mother,  and  King  Suddhodana,  who,  like  Joseph,  had 
nothing  at  all  to  do  with  the  paternity  of  the  holy  child.  It 
is  announced  that  a  Buddha  must  be  of  royal  and  illustrious 
race,  and  so  must  his  mother  and  his  putative  father — points 
more  appropriate,  perhaps,  to  the  son  of  a  king  than  the  son 
of  a  carpenter. 

Seydel  cites  from  Weber  a  portion  of  the  long  genealogy 
of  King  Suddhodana,  which  has  a  considerable  analogy  with 
the  Christian  lists  of  Joseph's  ancestors— 

"  King  Mahasammata  had  a  son  named  Roja,  whose  son 
was  Vararoja,  whose  son  was  Kalyana,  whose  son  was  Vara- 
kalyana,  whose  son  was  Mandhatar,  whose  son  was  Vara- 
mandhatar,  whose  son  was  Uposatha,  whose  son  was  Kara, 
whose  son  was  Upakara,  whose  son  was  Maghadeva."  2 

This  list  is  from  the  "  Dipawanso,"  and  it  is  also  given  by 
Mr.  Tumour,  in  the  Journal  of  the  Asiatic  Society  of  Bengal, 
vol.  vii.  p.  925.  It  is  needless  to  say  the  list  is  a  very  long 
one  indeed — Sihassero's  descendants  alone  were  eighty-two 
thousand,  who  all  reigned  supreme  in  Kapilavastu. 

1  "  Evangelium  von  Jesu,"  p.  105.  2  Seydel,  p.  106. 


ANCIENT  SCRIPTURES.  1 1 

"The  last  of  these  was  Jayaseno.  His  son  was  Sehahanu, 
who  was  endowed  with  great  personal  splendour.  Unto  the 
said  Sehahanu  were  born  five  sons — Suddhodano,  Dhotodano, 
Sukkodano,  Ghutitodano,  and  Amitodano.  Siddatho  (Buddha), 
the  Saviour  of  the  World,  was  the  son  of  Suddhodano." 

The  history  of  the  birth  of  Buddha  is  briefly  this.  When 
the  legendary  narratives  open  he  is  disclosed  residing  in  the 
heaven  Tusita,  and  exercising  the  functions  of  Purusha,  or 
God  viewed  as  a  transcendental  man.  He  rules  the  Triloka. 
He  is  called  in  the  Tibetan  Scripture  the  "  Heavenly  Father," 
the  "  Light  of  the  World,"  the  "  God  of  Gods,"  the  "  King  of 
Kings,"  the  "  Omniscient."  But  certain  atheistical  teachers 
being  abroad  in  the  world  deluding  mankind,  it  is  deter 
mined  that  these  shall  be  nullified  by  the  avatara  of  a  Buddha 
to  earth — his  incarnation,  in  point  of  fact. 

Search  is  made  for  a  suitable  mother  in  whose  womb  the 
divine  child  may  be  born  ;  and  in  the  city  of  Kapilavastu 
(Nagar  Khas,  N.  Oude)  is  found  a  queen  named  Maya  Devi, 
married  to  King  Suddhodana.  This  lady  is  beautiful  as  a 
heavenly  spirit.  Her  hair  is  glossy  as  the  body  of  a  black 
bee.  Her  voice  is  as  musical  as  the  kokila,  or  Indian  cuckoo. 
She  is  a  personification  of  chastity  and  virtue. 

Discussion  takes  place  among  the  heavenly  spirits  as  to 
the  form  to  be  assumed  by  a  Buddha  about  to  become  in 
carnate,  and  the  spirit  of  an  ancient  rishi,  or  holy  man, 
announces  that  in  the  Rig  Veda  and  the  ancient  books  it  is 
laid  down  that  this  form  must  be  that  of  a  white  elephant. 
The  reason  of  this  will  be  patent  to  those  who  have  read  the 
previous  section.  Martanda,  the  solar  god-man,  the  vice 
gerent  of  the  universe,  was  symbolized  as  an  elephant.1  It  is 
also  a  symbol  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

CONCEPTION. 

"  A  Virgin  shall  conceive." 

Attempts  have   recently   been    made    to   prove   that  the 
mother  of  Buddha  was  not  a  virgin  ;  but  this  goes  completely 
counter  both  to  the  northern  and  southern  Scriptures.     It  is 
1  "  Satapatha  Brahmana,"  iii.  1-33. 


12  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

stated  in  the  "  Lalita  Vistara  "  that  the  mother  of  a  Buddha 
"must  never  have  had  a  child."1  In  the  southern  Scriptures, 
as  given  by  Mr.  Tumour,  it  is  announced  that  a  womb  in 
which  a  Buddha-elect  has  reposed  is  like  the  sanctuary  of  a 
chaitya  (temple).  On  that  account  the  mother  of  Buddha 
always  dies  in  seven  days,  that  no  human  being  may  again 
occupy  it.2  The  name  of  the  queen  is  borrowed  from 
Brahminism.  She  is  Maya  Devi,  one  of  the  names  of  Durga, 
who  is  also  Kanya,  the  Virgin  of  the  Zodiac.  The  con 
ception  was  miraculous,  and,  of  course,  entirely  independent 
of  the  good  King  Suddhodana.  "  By  the  consent  of  the 
king,"  says  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  "  the  queen  was  permitted 
to  lead  the  life  of  a  maiden,  and  not  of  a  wife,  for  the  space 
of  thirty-two  months." 

In  the  "  Kabbalah  "  it  is  announced  that  the  Heavenly  Man 
comes  to  earth  in  the  mercaba,  or  chariot.  This  chariot  is,  of 
course,  the  seven  stars  of  the  Great  Bear,  imaged  in  the  old 
religions  as  the  Seven  Rishis,  the  Seven  Amesha  Spentas,  the 
Seven  Manushi  or  Mortal  Buddhas,  the  Seven  Angels  of 
the  Apocalypse.  As  each  of  these  stars,  as  I  shall  show, 
represents  a  legion  of  beatified  saints,  the  meaning  of  this  is 
not  far  to  seek.  God,  as  the  Heavenly  Man,  comes  to  earth 
through  the  mouthpiece  of  His  saints  and  angels.  These,  in 
the  Bible,  are  frequently  convertible  terms. 

Buddha,  too,  when  he  came  to  earth  under  the  symbol  of 
the  white  elephant,  travelled,  as  we  learn  from  the  "  Lalita 
Vistara,"  in  the  chariot  of  the  gods.  Millions  of  heavenly 
spirits,  headed  by  Indra,  the  King  of  Heaven,  accompanied 
him — beautiful  cloud-nymphs,  and  the  four  maharajas,  the 
great  kings  who  are  believed  to  support  the  Kosmos  at  the 
four  cardinal  points.  The  chariot  that  brings  down  the  little 
white  elephant  has  four  faces,  as,  of  course,  it  images  the 
Kosmos,  and  each  corner  is  supported  by  one  of  the  ma 
harajas. 

In  the  Armenian  ritual  this  is  the  Collect  for  Good 
Friday:  "Thou  who,  seated  in  majesty  on  the  fiery  chariot  of 
four  faces,  ineffable  Word  of  God,  hast  come  down  from 

1  Foucaux,  p.  31.  2  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vii.  p.  800. 


ANCIENT  SCRIPTURES.  13 

heaven  for  Thy  creatures,  and  deigned  to-day  to  sit  at  table 
with  Thy  disciples.  Surprised  with  admiration,  the  seraphim 
and  cherubim  and  principalities  of  the  celestial  cohorts 
gathered  round,  crying  in  their  astonishment,  *  Holy,  holy, 
holy,  is  the  Lord  of  hosts. '  "  * 

It  is  to  be  remarked  that  four  stars  of  the  Great  Bear 
make  a  square,  the  chariot  of  the  four  faces. 

In  the  southern  versions  Buddha  also  descends  as  a 
white  elephant.  The  queen,  in  a  vision,  is  transported  to 
Himavat,  the  fabled  mountain  of  the  sky,  by  the  side  of 
which  grows  the  mighty  tree,  which  is  fifty  miles  high.  Four 
great  queens  carry  her  in  her  couch  to  the  shores  of  a 
delicious  lake  that  sparkles  under  a  mountain  of  silver.  On 
the  eastern  side  of  this  mountain  was  a  cavern,  and  into 
this  Queen  Maya  was  carried.  Whilst  she  was  lying  there, 
Buddha,  in  the  form  of  a  young  white  elephant,  approached, 
carrying  a  pure  white  lotus  in  his  trunk.  He  marched  three 
times  round  the  queen,  and  then  entered  her  right  side. 

On  this  narrative  the  Rev.  Spence  Hardy  makes  the 
following  comments  :  "  The  resemblance  between  this  legend 
and  the  doctrine  of  the  perpetual  virginity  of  the  mother  of 
our  Lord  cannot  but  be  remarked.  The  opinion  that  she  had 
ever  borne  other  children  was  called  heresy  by  Epiphanius 
and  Jerome  long  before  she  had  been  exalted  to  the  station 
of  supremacy  she  now  occupies  amongst  the  saints  in  the 
estimation  of  the  Romish  and  Greek  Churches.  They 
suppose  that  it  is  to  this  circumstance  that  reference  is  made 
in  the  prophetical  account  of  the  eastern  gate  of  the  temple  : 
'  Then  said  the  Lord  unto  me,  This  gate  shall  be  shut.  It 
shall  not  be  opened,  and  no  man  shall  enter  in  by  it,  because 
the  Lord  the  God  of  Israel  hath  entered  in  by  it.  Therefore 
it  shall  be  shut '  "  (Ezek.  xliv.  2).2 

It  is  to  be  remarked  in  Buddhism  that  the  mother  of  a 
Buddha  always  dies  after  giving  birth  to  the  divine  child,  as 
we  have  shown. 

1  Compare  Migne,  vol.  viii.  p.  1303,  with  Lapostilet,  "  Liturgie  de  la 
Messe  Arme'nienne,"  p.  28. 

2  Spence  Hardy,  "  Manual  of  Buddhism,"  p.  145  j  Bigandet,  p.  35. 


14  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  II. 

The  Double  Annunciation— Birth  of  Buddha  under  a  Bending  Tree- 
Similar  Legends  concerning  Christ— The  Star  of  Buddha  and  the 
Star  of  Christ— The  Buddhist  Simeon— Name-giving  not  a  Jewish 
Rite— The  Child  Christ  and  the  Sparrows— King  Herod  and  King 
Bimbisara— "  Thy  Parents  seek  Thee." 

THE  DOUBLE  ANNUNCIATION. 

IT  is  recorded  that  when  Queen  Maya  received  the  supernal 
Buddha  in  her  womb,  in  the  form  of  a  beautiful  white  elephant, 
she  said  to  her  husband,  "  Like  snow  and  silver,  outshining 
the  sun  and  the  moon,  a  white  elephant  of  six  defences,  with 
unrivalled  trunk  and  feet,  has  entered  my  womb.  Listen  ;  I 
saw  the  three  regions  (earth,  heaven,  and  hell),  with  a  great 
light  shining  in  the  darkness,  and  myriads  of  spirits  sang  my 
praises  in  the  sky."  1 

A  similar  miraculous  communication  was  made  to  King 
Suddhodana  by  the  devas  immediately  after  the  miraculous 
conception — 

"  The  spirits  of  the  Pure  Abode,  flying  in  the  air,  showed 
half  of  their  forms,  and  hymned  King  Suddhodana  thus— 

"  '  Guerdoned  with  righteousness  and  gentle  pity, 
Adored  on  earth  and  in  the  shining  sky, 
The  coming  Buddha  quits  the  glorious  spheres, 
And  hies  to  earth,  to  gentle  Maya's  womb.'  "  2 

Seydel  has  a  chapter  headed  "  Conception  by  the  Holy 
Ghost."  He  cites  several  passages  of  the  Buddhist  legends  ; 
amongst  others  the  following  from  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  de 
scribing  the  abnormal  nature  of  the  birth — 

1  Foucaux,  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  63.  2  Foucaux,  p.  62. 


MIRACULOUS  BIRTH.  15 

"  Thus,  O  monks,  Buddha  was  born,  and  the  right  side  of 
his  mother  was  not  pierced,  was  not  wounded  ;  it  remained 
as  before." 1 

I  may  mention  here  that  an  objection  has  been  taken  to 
the  parallelism  so  often  traced  of  late  between  the  lives  of 
Buddha  and  Christ.  The  Rev.  R.  Collins,  a  gentleman  who 
has  lived  in  India,  and  contributed  papers  to  the  Indian 
Antiquary  in  illustration  of  its  archaeology,  has  taken  a  recent 
writer  to  task.  His  position  is  that  "the  supposed  miracu 
lous  conception,  the  bringing  down  of  Buddha  from  the 
Tusita  heaven,  the  devas  acknowledging  his  supremacy,  the 
presentation  in  the  temple  when  the  images  of  Indra  and 
other  gods  threw  themselves  at  his  feet,  the  temptation  by 
Mara"— which  legends  are  embellished  by  the  modern  writer 
I  have  already  quoted  (Mons.  Ernest  de  Bunsen),  under  such 
phrases  as  "  Conceived  by  the  Holy  Ghost,"  "  Born  of  the 
Virgin  Maya,"  "  Song  of  the  heavenly  host,"  "  Presentation  in 
the  Temple  and  Temptation  in  the  Wilderness" — "none  of  these 
are  found  in  the  early  Pali  texts;"2  and  Mr.  Collins  lays 
down  the  further  proposition  that  all  these  points  were  in 
serted  in  the  northern  Buddhist  scriptures  after  the  Malabar 
Christians  had  formed  a  sect  in  India,  and  made  known  the 
Christian  Gospels.  I  shall  examine  these  statements  each  in 
its  proper  place. 

By  early  Pali  texts  Mr.  Collins  means  the  two  brief  lives 
of  Buddha  given  in  Buddhaghosa's  "Atthakatha."  The  one 
has  been  translated  in  part  by  Mr.  Tumour,  and  the  other  by 
Professor  Rhys  Davids. 

Surely  Mr.  Collins  cannot  have  read  these  lives.  Mr. 
Tumour's  biography  distinctly  tells  us  that  Indra  and  the  four 
maharajas  and  the  heavenly  host  came  and  worshipped 
Buddha  in  the  heaven  Tusita,  on  the  occasion  of  his  approach 
ing  "advent"  to  earth  "for  the  purpose  of  redeeming  the 
world."3 

1  Foucaux,  p.  97. 

The  Rev.  R.  Collins,  "  Buddhism  in  Relation  to  Christianity/'  p.  5. 
3  Tumour,  "  Pali  Buddhistical  Annals,"  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vii. 
PP-  798,  799- 


!6  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

This  is  surely  an  "  acknowledgment  of  supremacy  "  on  the 
part  of  the  devas  ;  and  it  is  also  as  certainly  stated  that 
Buddha  was  "  conceived  in  the  womb  of  the  great  Maya," 2 
and  that  in  a  miraculous  manner.  "At  the  instant  of  this 
great  personage  being  conceived  in  the  womb  of  his  mother, 
the  whole  of  the  ten  thousand  worlds  (the  kosmos)  simulta 
neously  quaked,  and  thirty-two  miraculous  indications  were 
manifested.  For  the  protection  also  of  the  Buddha-elect,  as 
well  as  his  mother,  four  spirits  mounted  guard  with  sword 

in  hand."1 

Whilst  Buddha  was  in  his  mother's  womb,  it  is  stated  also 
that  the  womb  was  transparent.1  Dr.  Rhys  Davids  has  pointed 
out  the  interesting  fact  that  certain  mediaeval  frescoes  repre 
sent  Christ  as  visible  when  in  His  mother's  womb.2 

In  southern  scriptures,  as  well  as  the  northern  ones,  the 
conception  is  described  as  immaculate. 

"A  Buddha-elect,  with  extended  arms  and  erect  in  posture, 
comes  forth  from  his  mother's  womb  undefiled  by  the  im 
purities  of  that  womb,  clean  and  unsoiled,  refulgent  as  a  gem 
deposited  in  a  Kashmir  shawl."  3 

Since  I  wrote  the  above,  a  book  has  appeared,  entitled  "The 
Light  of  Asia  and  the  Light  of  the  World."  It  takes  up 
much  the  same  line  as  Mr.  Collins.  The  Saturday  Review,  in 
an  able  article  condemning  the  narrowness  of  its  author, 
Professor  Kellogg,  points  out  that  in  the  Chinese  books 
Buddha  is  said  over  and  over  again  to  have  been  incarnate 
of  the  "  Holy  Spirit."  The  critic  says  further  that,  since  the 
publication  of  Seydel's  book,  it  is  impossible  any  longer  to 
maintain  that  there  has  been  no  derivation  from  the  Buddhist 

books.4 

We  have  seen  that  the  divine  annunciation  was  to  the 
father  as  well  as  the  mother.  It  is  a  singular  fact  that,  in  the 
New  Testament,  there  is  also  a  double  annunciation.  In  Luke 
(i.  28),  the  angel  Gabriel  is  said  to  have  appeared  to  the  Virgin 
Mary  before  her  conception,  and  foretold  to  her  the  miraculous 

1  Tumour,  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vii.  p.  800. 

2  «  Birth  Stories,"  p.  65.       3  Tumour,  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vii.  p.  801 . 
4  Saturday  Review,  February  6,  1886. 


MIRACULOUS  BIRTH.  \j 

birth  of  Christ.  In  Matthew  (i.  19),  an  angel  comes  to  Joseph 
after  his  nuptials,  and  announces  that  what  is  conceived  in  his 
wife  is  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  Dr.  Giles  remarks  that  it  is  a 
singular  fact  that  Mary  seems  never  to  have  told  her  husband 
a  word  about  the  miracle  of  which  she  was  a  witness,  and 
that  "Joseph  found  out  the  fact  (of  his  wife's  pregnancy)  for 
himself." l 

This  double  annunciation  in  the  case  of  both  Buddha  and 
Christ  is  most  important.  In  the  New  Testament  we  get 
it  from  two  distinct  writers,  whose  accounts  stultify  one 
another.  The  Buddhist  narrative,  on  the  other  hand,  is  har 
monious.  If  there  has  been  derivation,  as  Mr.  Collins  asserts, 
the  original  narrative  in  this  case  seems  plainly  to  have  been 
the  Eastern  one. 

BIRTH  or  BUDDHA. 

Amongst  the  "thirty-two  signs"  that  indicate  the  mother 
of  a  Buddha,  the  fifth  is  that,  like  Mary,  the  mother  of  Jesus, 
she  should  be  "  on  a  journey "  at  the  time  of  her  expected 
labour.2  It  so  happened,  as  we  learn  by  the  narrative  given 
to  us  by  Mr.  Tumour,  that  when  Queen  Maya  was  ten  months 
gone  with  child,  a  desire  seized  her  to  return  to  her  father's 
city.  King  Suddhodana  consented  to  this.  The  road  from 
Kapilavastu  to  that  city  was  made  smooth  and  spread  with 
foot-clothes.  Arches  of  green  plantains  and  the  areca  flower 
were  set  up,  and  the  queen  set  out  with  much  pomp  in  a 
"  new  gilt  palanquin." 

Between  the  two  cities  was  a  lovely  forest,  which  rivalled 
the  nandana  grove  in  the  soft  luxury  of  its  blossoms  and 
boughs.  A  nandana  grove  is  at  once  a  forest  in  paradise, 
and  its  counterpart  on  earth  the  garden  of  a  monastery. 
There,  amid  the  soft  songs  of  the  Indian  cuckoo,  the  queen 
alighted,  and  sought  the  shade  of  a  fine  sala  tree  (Shorea 
robusta).  Whilst  there  the  pains  of  labour  seized  her,  and 
the  sala  tree  bent  down  its  branches  to  overshadow  her.  At 
this  moment  the  queen  was  transfigured.  Her  countenance 

1  Giles,  "  Hebrew  and  Christian  Records,"  vol.  ii.  p.  175. 

2  Beal,  "  Romantic  History,"  p.  32. 

C 


1 8  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

shone  like  "  glimmering  lightning,"  and  the  halo  of  the  Queen 
of  Nandana  was  round  her  head.  Then  the  infant  Buddha 
came  forth,  and  the  great  kings  of  the  four  cardinal  points 
received  him  in  a  cloth  or  net.  Two  miraculous  jets  of  water 
came  from  the  sky  to  baptize  him.  Afar,  from  the  lips  of 
immortal  spirits,  was  heard  the  song  before  cited— 

"  O  Purusha, 

The  equal  to  thee  exists  not  here. 
Where  will  a  superior  be  found  ?  " 

In  a  version  of  the  "  Gospel  of  the  Infancy  "  in  the  library 
of  Berne,  a  palm  tree  bends  down  in  the  same  way  to  Mary.2 
That  some  such  legend  was  current  in  Palestine  is  proved,  I 
think,  from  the  account  of  Christ's  birth  in  the  Koran— 

"  So  she  conceived  him,  and  she  retired  with  him  into  a 
remote  place.  And  the  labour-pains  came  upon  her  at  the 
trunk  of  a  palm  tree,  and  she  said,  '  Oh  that  I  had  died  before 
this,  and  been  forgotten  out  of  mind  ! '  And  He  called  to  her 
from  beneath  her,  '  Grieve  not,  for  thy  Lord  has  placed  a 
stream  beneath  thy  feet  ;  and  shake  towards  thee  the  trunk 
of  the  palm  tree — it  will  drop  upon  thee  fresh  dates  fit  to 
gather.' " 3 

In  the  "  Protevangelion  "  Mary  and  Joseph  are  described  as 
journeying  near  a  cave  when  the  pains  of  labour  seize  her. 
She  alights  from  her  ass  and  enters  it,  and  Joseph  hastens 
to  Bethlehem  for  a  Jewish  midwife.  As  he  proceeds  certain 
marvels  are  visible.  The  clouds  are  astonished,  and  the  birds 
of  the  air  stop  in  their  flight.  The  dispersed  sheep  of  some 
shepherds  near  cease  to  gambol,  and  the  shepherds  to  beat 
them.  The  kids  near  a  river  are  arrested  with  their  mouths 
close  to  the  water.  All  nature  seems  to  pause  for  a  mighty 
effort.4  In  the  "  Lalita  Vistara"  the  birds  of  the  air  also 
pause  in  their  flight  when  Buddha  comes  to  the  womb  of 
Queen  Maya.5  And  fires  go  out  and  rivers  are  suddenly 

1  Tumour,  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vii.  p.  801. 

2  Given  with  the  other  Apocryphal   Gospels  by  Voltaire  "  CEuvres," 
vol.  xl. 

3  E.  H.  Palmer,  "The  Qur'an,"  xix.  22. 

4  Chap.  xiii.  5  Foucaux,  p.  53. 


MIRACULOUS  BIRTH.  19 

arrested  in  their  flow  when  his  holy  feet  touch  earth.1  Joseph 
succeeds  in  finding  a  midwife.  He  brings  her  to  Mary  ;  and 
a  mighty  light  dazzles  them.  This  supernatural  light  con 
tinues  until  the  holy  Child  appears  and  begins  to  suck  His 
mother's  breast. 

"Then  the  shepherds  came  and  made  a  fire,  and  the 
heavenly  host  appeared,  praising  and  adoring  the  supreme 
God.  And  as  the  shepherds  were  engaged  in  the  same 
employment,  the  cave  at  that  time  seemed  like  a  glorious 
temple,  because  at  that  time  the  tongues  of  angels  and  men 
united  to  adore  and  magnify  God  on  account  of  the  birth  of 
the  Lord  Christ." 

In  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  Queen  Maya  is  also  attended  by 
a  midwife  when  she  retires  under  her  tree.  This  woman  is 
said  to  be  the  mother  of  the  previous  Buddha.2  In  the 
"Abinish  Kramana "  Indra  himself,  disguised  as  an  old 
woman,  attempts  to  act  as  midwife. 


THE  STAR  AND  THE  MAGI. 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  had  a  star  presiding  at  his  birth— 
Pushya,3  the  "  King  of  Stars."  Colebrooke,  the  best  astro 
nomer  of  Oriental  philologists,  identifies  this  as  the  §  of 
Cancer.4 

The  "  Protevangelion  "  announces  that  the  "  extraordinary 
large  star  shining  among  the  stars  of  heaven  and  outshining 
them  all,"  stood  just  above  the  cave  where  Mary  lay  with  the 
young  Child.5 

Much  has  been  written  about  the  star  that  is  supposed 
to  herald  the  Christ,  the  Buddha,  the  Zarathustra,  the 
Mahomet— the  seven  great  prophets  of  the  Kalpa.  One 
thing  seems  plain,  and  that  is,  that  if  there  is  such  a  star, 
it  does  not  come  at  regular  intervals. 

The  "  Vishnu  Purana  "  gives  a  curious  fact  apropos  of  the 
avataras  of  Vishnu.  It  says  that  the  star  that  heralds 

1  Foucaux,  p.  100.  2  Page  86>  3  Foucaux,  p.  61. 

4  "  Essays,"  vol.  ii.  p.  334.  5 


2Q  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

these  is  a  star  of  the  asterisms  that  makes  itself  visible  inside 
the  square  made  by  the  four  stars  of  the  Great  Bear.  This 
in  India  is  the  vimana  (chariot)  of  the  gods,  with  its  seven 
fiery  steeds. 

Who  were  the  "Wise  Men"  who  came  to  greet  the  infant 
Christ?  Much  has  been  written  on  this  subject.  They 
were  kings,  according  to  some  ;  adepts  in  occult  lore,  accord 
ing  to  others,  who  have  taken  the  description  in  its  literal 
sense.  Seydel  identifies  them  with  the  heavenly  kings- 
Brahma,  Indra,  etc.,  who  figure  in  the  "  Lalita  Vistara."1 
think  here  he  has  overlooked  the  importance  of  the  southern 
legend.  When  the  infant  Buddha  is  born,  four  Brahmins, 
the  wise  men  of  India,  receive  him  in  a  golden  net.  Then  the 
Maharajas,  the  four  great  kings  of  the  kosmos,  bear  him  ;  for 
is  he  not  Purusha,  the  kosmos  imaged  as  a  heavenly  man  ? 
"Fragrant  flowers"  and  other  offerings  were  made  to  him, 
says  the  narrative. 

THE  INDIAN  SIMEON. 

The  close  parallelism  between  the  incident  of  Simeon  in 
the  second  chapter  of  Matthew,  and  the  story  of  Asita  in  the 
Buddhist  legendary  life,  has  been  often  pointed  out.  Asita. 
is  called  Kaladevala  in  the  Pali  version,  both  words  having 
for  root  the  adjective  "  black." 

Asita  dwells  on  Himavat,  the  holy  mount  of  the  Hindoos, 
as  Simeon  dwells  on  Mount  Zion.  The  "Holy  Ghost  is 
upon  "  Simeon.  That  means  that  he  has  obtained  the  facul 
ties  of  the  prophet  by  mystical  training.  He  "  comes  by  the 
Spirit "  into  the  temple. 

Now  let  us  turn  to  Asita.  We  will  take  the  Pali  version 
of  his  story.  It  is  quite  a  mistake  on  the  part  of  Mr.  Collins 
to  suppose  that  he  is  only  to  be  met  with  in  the  "  Lalita 
Vistara,"  or  northern  scripture. 

Asita  is  an  ascetic,  who  has  acquired  the  eight  magical 
faculties,  one  of  which  is  the  faculty  of  visiting  the  Tawa- 
tinsa  heavens.  Happening  to  soar  up  into  those  pure  regions 

'    !  "  Evangelium  von  Jesu,"  p.  135. 


MIRACULOUS  BIRTH.  21 

one  day,  he  is  told  by  the  host  of  devatas,  or  heavenly  spirits, 
that  a  mighty  Buddha  is  born  in  the  world,  "  who  will  estab 
lish  the  supremacy  of  the  Buddhist  Dharma."  The  "  Lalita 
Vistara  "  announces  that,  "  looking  abroad  with  his  divine  eye, 
and  considering  the  kingdoms  of  India,  he  saw  in  the  great 
city  of  Kapilavastu,  in  the  palace  of  King  Suddhodana,  the 
child  shining  with  the  glitter  of  pure  deeds,  and  adored  by 
all  the  worlds."  Afar  through  the  skies  the  spirits  of  heaven 
in  crowds  recited  the  "  hymn  of  Buddha." 1 

This  is  the  description  of  Simeon  in  the  "  Gospel  of  the 
First  Infancy,"  ii.  6 — "At  that  time  old  Simeon  saw  Him 
(Christ)  shining  as  a  pillar  of  light  when  St.  Mary  the  Virgin, 
His  mother,  carried  Him  in  her  arms,  and  was  filled  with 
the  greatest  pleasure  at  the  sight.  And  the  angels  stood 
around  Him  adoring  Him  as  a  King ;  guards  stood  around 
Him." 

Asita  was,  as  we  have  seen,  a  Brahmin  adept,  with  the 
eight  magical  faculties  of  Patanjali's  "Yogi  Sastra."  One  of 
these,  according  to  Colebrooke,  is  the  power  of  levitation,  or 
"  rising  like  a  sunbeam  to  the  solar  orb."  2  Taking  advantage 
of  this  power,  the  old  Brahmin,  says  the  "  Lalita  Vistara," 
"after  the  manner  of  the  King  of  the  Swans,  rose  aloft  in 
the  sky,  and  proceeded  to  the  great  city  of  Kapilavastu." 3 
When  he  reached  the  palace  of  the  king  a  throne  was  given 
to  him,  and  a  very  gracious  reception. 

"Raja,"  he  said,  "to  thee  a  son  has  been  born.  Him  I 
will  see." 

"The  Raja,"  says  the  Pali  version,4  "caused  the  infant, 
richly  clad,  to  be  brought,  in  order  that  he  (the  infant)  might 
do  homage  to  the  Brahmin.  The  feet  of  the  Buddha-elect, 
at  that  instant,  performing  an  evolution,  planted  themselves 
on  the  top-knot  of  the  Brahmin.  There  being  no  one  greater 
to  whom  reverence  is  due  than  a  Buddha-elect,  the  Brahmin, 
instantly  rising  from  the  throne  on  which  he  was  seated, 
bowed  down,  with  his  clasped  hands  raised  over  his  head,  to 

1  Foucaux,  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  103. 

2  "  Essays,"  vol.  i.  p.  250.  3  Foucaux,  p.  104. 
4  Tumour,  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vii.  p.  802. 


22  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  Buddha  elect.     The  raja  also,  witnessing  this  miraculous 
result,  bowed  down  to  his  own  son."  ] 

But  the  courtiers  of  the  good  King  Suddhodana  were 
plunged  into  the  greatest  consternation,  for  the  ascetic  burst 
suddenly  into  a  flood  of  tears. 

"  Is  there  any  misfortune  impending  over  the  infant  of  our 
ruler  ?  "  they  said,  anxiously. 

"  Unto  him  there  is  no  misfortune  impending,"  said  the 
Brahmin.  "Without  doubt  he  is  destined  to  become  the 
Buddha." 

"  Why,  then,  dost  thou  weep  ?  " 

"  Because  I  am  old  and  stricken  in  years,  and  shall  not 
live  to  see  the  glory  of  his  Buddhahood.  Therefore  do  I 
weep." 

The  points  of  contact  between  Simeon  and  Asita  are 
singularly  close.  Both  are  men  of  God,  "  full  of  the  Holy 
Ghost."  Both  are  brought  "  by  the  Spirit "  into  the  presence 
of  the  holy  Child,  for  the  express  purpose  of  foretelling  his 
destiny  as  the  anointed  one. 

NAME-GIVING. 

Five  days  after  the  birth  of  Buddha  an  important  cere 
mony  occurred.  The  Brahmins  of  the  city  met  together,  and 
the  young  boy  received  a  name.  This  name  was  Siddhartha 
(He  who  succeeds  in  all  things),1  and  it  was  chosen  by  means 
of  occult  knowledge.  Eight  days  after  the  birth  of  Jesus 
the  holy  Child  underwent  the  ceremony  of  name-giving  and 
circumcision.  This  occurred  in  the  temple  at  Jerusalem, 
according  to  the  canonical  Gospels  ;  but  the  "  Gospel  of  the 
First  Infancy"  announces  that  the  rite  took  place  in  the  cave 
where  He  was  born.  He  was  called  Jesus  (Saviour),  by  com 
mand  of  the  angel  Gabriel.  It  also  foreshadowed  the  fact 
that  he  would  be  the  Saviour  of  the  world. 

I  think  this  narrative  of  the  highest  importance,  because 
this  ceremony  of  name-giving  and  casting  the  horoscope  was 
not  a  Jewish  rite.  There  is  no  mention  of  any  such  ceremony 

1  Tumour,  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.^  vol.  vii.  p.  802. 


MIRACULOUS  BIRTH.  23 

until  we  read  of  it  in  the  narrative  of  St.  Luke.  This  would 
indicate  that  the  rite  of  name-giving  came  through  the  Thera- 
peuts  from  India.  The  dominant  party  were  rigid  sticklers 
for  the  letter  of  the  Law.  Even  in  the  early  Church,  name- 
giving  at  baptism  was  not  for  a  long  time  universal. 


PROPHECY. 

"  That  it  might  be  fulfilled  which  was  spoken  by  the  prophet." 

Christianity,  like  Buddhism,  was  a  radical  revolution,  which 
it  was  sought  afterwards  to  disguise  in  some  of  the  vestments 
of  the  priestly  tyranny  that  it  had  superseded.  In  both  cases 
the  bibliolatry  of  the  common  people  had  to  be  dealt  with. 
Christianity  took  over  the  Bible  of  the  Jews,  but  reversed  its 
meaning.  Buddhism  discarded  the  vedas  as  holy  books,  but 
appealed  to  their  higher  spiritual  teaching.  Seydel  points  out 
likewise,  from  Lefmann  and  from  Foucaux  ("  Lalita  Vistara," 
p.  13,  et  seq.\  an  attempt  on  the  part  of  the  Buddhist  writers 
to  find  the  career  of  Buddha  foreshadowed  in  the  Rig  Veda 
and  in  the  Brahmanas.  He  is  Purusha,  the  heavenly  man 
of  the  old  Hindoo  religion.  His  symbol  is  the  elephantlike 
Martanda,  the  mystic  egg.  In  consequence,  certain  heavenly 
spirits  disguise  themselves  as  Brahmins,  and  fly  off  to  earth  to 
discover  in  the  holy  books  when  an  avatara  of  the  god-man 
is  due.  After  due  research,  it  is  pronounced  that  in  twelve 
years  the  Buddha  must  enter  the  womb  of  a  mother.  The 
Brahmin  books  are  consulted  on  other  occasions.  Buddhism 
tolerated  Brahminism,  and  made  use  of  its  superstitions  for 
the  common  people.  Christianity  also  sought  to  conciliate 
the  lower  Judaism.  I  shall  show  by-and-by  that  each  creed 
suffered  much  in  consequence. 

HYMNS. 

Seydel  has  pointed  out  that  the  Buddhist  scriptures,  like 
the  Christian  ones,  are  written  in  prose,  with  hymns  and  lyrical 
passages  inserted  from  time  to  time.1  In  the  case  of  the 

1  "  Evangelium  von  Jesu,"  p.  140. 


24  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Buddhist  writings  this  was  a  necessity.  They  were  composed 
before  the  letters  of  the  alphabet  had  been  introduced  into 
India,  and  metre  helped  the  monks  to  preserve  them  in 
memory.  By-and-by  prose  writings  were  introduced.  Hence 
the  mixture. 

THE  CHILD  CHRIST  AND  THE  SPARROWS. 

When  Buddha  was  twelve  years  old,  he  wandered  into  the 
royal  gardens  with  a  bow  and  arrows.  His  young  companions 
were  in  other  gardens  near,  enjoying  themselves  in  the  same 
way.  Suddenly  a  flock  of  wild  geese  flew  over,  and  Deva- 
datta,  a  cousin  of  Buddha's,  let  fly  an  arrow,  which  brought  one 
of  them  to  the  ground.  The  young  Buddha  rested  the 
wounded  bird  on  his  lap,  and  anointed  the  wound  with  oil  and 
honey. 

Devadatta  claimed  the  bird,  on  the  ground  that  he  had 
shot  it.  Buddha  answered  thus  :  "  If  the  bird  were  dead  it 
Avould  belong  to  Devadatta.  It  lives,  and  therefore  it  is 
mine." 

This  answer  failed  to  satisfy  the  cousin,  who  again  claimed 
the  bird,  alive  or  dead. 

But  a  shining  deva  from  the  heaven  of  Brahma  came  down 
to  earth,  and  adjudicated  between  the  cousins. 

"  The  bird  belongs  to  Buddha,"  he  said,  "  for  his  mission 
is  to  give  life  to  the  world.  He  who  shoots  and  destroys  is 
by  his  own  act  the  loser  and  disperser."  1 

Devadatta  is  the  Judas  of  Buddhism,  and  in  the  "  Gospel 
of  the  Infancy  "  the  youthful  Judas  also  shares  Christ's  sports. 
He  strikes  Christ  on  one  occasion,  and,  in  return,  the  young 
boy  casts  out  a  devil  from  his  assailant.  On  another  occasion 
Jesus  makes  some  sparrows  of  clay,  and  gives  life  to  them — a 
parable  very  like  that  of  Buddha  and  the  wounded  bird.  2 

KING  HEROD  AND  KING  BIMBISARA. 

It  is  recorded  that  King  Bimbisara,  the  King  of  Magadha, 
was  fearful  that  some  enemy  would  subvert  his  kingdom.  In 

l_  "  Romantic  History,"  p.  73.  2  "  First  Infancy,"  i.  8. 


MIRACULOUS  BIRTH.  2$ 

consequence  he  summoned  his  chief  councillors,  and  said  to 
them,  "  Make  search  and  discover  if  there  be  any  one  capable 
of  compassing  my  downfall,  and  if  there  be,  take  care  that  he 
be  hindered  in  such  an  attempt."  The  councillors  of  the  king 
sent  forth  two  trusty  messengers,  who  searched  east  and  west 
in  the  raja's  dominions.  They  then  passed  over  the  borders, 
and  there  met  a  man,  who  said  to  them— 

"Away  to  the  north  there  is  a  precipitous  mountain  of  the 
Himalayan  range.  Underneath  the  wooded  belt  of  that 
mountain  is  a  tribe  called  the  Sakyas.  In  that  tribe  is  a 
youth  newly  born,  the  first  begotten  of  his  mother.  On  the 
day  of  his  birth  the  Brahmins  calculated  his  horoscope,  and 
they  fixed  that  he  will  either  be  a  Chakravartin  and  rule  the 
great  empire  of  Jambudwipa,  or  else  he  will  become  a  hermit 
and  win  the  ten  names  of  Tathagata,  the  Buddha." 

At  once  the  two  messengers  returned  to  the  king,  and  nar 
rated  what  they  had  heard.  They  counselled  him  to  raise  a 
large  army  and  to  march  and  destroy  the  child. 

King  Bimbisara,  unlike  King  Herod,  here  replied,  "  Speak 
not  thus.  If  the  youth  become  a  Chakravarti  Raja,  he 
will  wield  a  righteous  sceptre,  and  we  are  bound  to  obey 
him.  If  he  become  the  mighty  Buddha,  his  love  and  com 
passion  leading  him  to  deliver  and  save  all  flesh,  then  we 
must  become  his  disciples." 1 

"THY  PARENTS  SEEK  THEE." 

Seydel  has  a  chapter  with  the  above  heading,  drawing 
attention  to  another  point  of  resemblance  between  the  lives  of 
the  young  Buddha  and  the  young  Christ.  On  one  occasion, 
each  in  early  youth  wandered  away  from  his  parents,  and  a 
search  had  to  be  instituted  to  recover  him.  Some  of  these 
points  of  contact  are  less  striking  than  others,  but  I  think  all 
worthy  of  notice,  because  probably  in  every  case  there  is  a 
meaning  of  some  importance  not  now  always  traceable. 

At  the  spring  festival,  like  the  modern  rajahs  in  India, 
the  king  went  with  his  court  to  take  part  in  the  ploughing. 

1  "  Romantic  History  of  Buddha,"  p.  104. 


26  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  king  ploughed  with  a  plough  ornamented  with  gold  ;  his 
nobles  ploughed  with  a  plough  ornamented  with  silver  ;  but 
the  little  prince,  who  was  taken  to  the  show,  wandered  away 
and  sat  under  a  jambu  tree  (the  rose-apple).  Whilst  there 
he  was  accosted  by  five  rishis,  or  wise  men.  They,  by  the 
force  of  their  magical  vision,  were  able  to  detect  his  mighty 
destiny. 

The  rishis  began  to  repeat  the  following  gathas  : — 

The  first  rishi  said— 

"  In  a  world  devoured  by  the  fire  of  sin 
This  lake  hath  appeared  ; 
In  him  is  the  Law 
Which  brings  happiness  to  all  flesh  !  " 

The  second  rishi  said — 

"  In  the  darkness  of  the  world 
A  light  has  appeared, 
To  lighten  all  who  are  in  ignorance  !  " 

The  third  rishi  said — 

"  Upon  the  tossing  ocean 
A  bark  has  approached, 
To  save  us  from  the  perils  of  the  deep  !  " 

The  fourth  rishi  said — 

"  To  all  who  are  bound  in  the  chains  of  corruption 
This  great  Saviour  has  come  ; 
In  him  is  the  Law 
That  will  deliver  all  !  " 

The  fifth  rishi  said— 

"  In  a  world  vexed  by  sickness  and  old  age 
A  great  Physician  has  appeared, 
To  provide  a  Law 
To  put  an  end  to  both." 

Soon  the  king  appeared  searching  for  his  son,  when  lo  ! 
this  marvel  was  visible.  The  shadows  of  all  the  other  trees 
had  turned,  but  the  jambu  tree  still  screened  the  young  boy 
with  its  shade. 

The  rishis  having  saluted  the  feet  of  Buddha,  flew  off 
through  the  air. 


MIRACULOUS  BIRTH.  2/ 

The  five  rishis  mystically  are  the  Dhyani  Buddhas,  the 
first  officers  in  the  celestial  hierarchy  of  the  transcendental 
Buddha.  They  are  present  to  bear  witness  to  his  mighty 
mission,  and  to  the  fact  that  it  is  distinct  from  that  of  his 
earthly  father. 

"  Wist  ye  not  that  I  must  be  about  My  Father's  business." 
These  words  of  Christ  have  a  similar  import.  The  miracle 
of  the  light  coming  from  the  young  boy,  and  not  from  the 
material  sun,  is  the  same  lesson  objectivized. 


28  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER   III. 

The  Homage  of  the  Idols — "  Gold,  and  Frankincense,  and  Myrrh  " — The 
Disputation  with  the  Doctors. 

THE  HOMAGE  OF  THE  IDOLS. 

IT  is  recorded  in  the  "  Lalita  Vistara  "  that  certain  elders 
came  and  gave  counsel  to  the  king,  saying,  "  It  is  meet, 
O  king,  that  the  infant  should  be  now  presented  at  the  temple 
of  the  Gods." 

"  It  is  proper  that  this  should  be  done,"  said  Suddhodana. 
"  Let  the  streets  and  bazaars  be  splendidly  adorned.  Beat 
the  drums,  ring  the  bells.  Let  the  lame,  the  deaf,  the  blind, 
the  unsightly  be  removed  from  the  line  of  procession,  and 
everything  else  of  evil  augury.  Assemble  the  neighbouring 
kings,  the  nobles,  the  merchants,  the  householders  in  gala 
dress.  Let  the  Brahmins  decorate  the  temples  of  the  gods." 

The  king's  orders  were  promptly  obeyed.  In  due  time, 
accompanied  by  the  loud  blare  of  Indian  instruments — the 
conch  shell,  the  flute,  the  tambourine,  the  "drum  of  joy," — the 
young  infant  went  in  "  great  and  pompous  royal  ceremony  " 
to  the  temple.  Elephants  in  crowds,  and  horses  and  chariots, 
citizens  and  soldiers,  joined  in  the  procession.  Parasols  were 
reared  aloft,  streamers  waved,  banners  were  unfurled.  Vil 
lagers  and  nobles,  the  poor  and  the  rich,  pressed  forward  to 
the  show.  The  streets  and  the  squares  were  carpeted  with 
flowers,  and  vases  of  sweet  scent  were  lavishly  flung  about. 
Also,  in  harmony  with  the  crude  ideas  of  early  art  that  a 
perfectly  smooth  plain  was  the  highest  ideal  of  beauty,  rough 


GIFTS  AND  HOMAGE.  29 

places  were  made  smooth  and  tortuous  paths  straightened. 
~Rude  designs  of  these  flags  and  drums,  and  "  long  horns  and 
flageolets/' 1  are  given  in  the  earliest  sculptures.  The  men 
have  kummerbunds,  and  bare  legs  and  chests  ;  the  women 
are  clothed  chiefly  in  heavy  arm  and  leg  bangles.  We  can 
see  the  procession  of  good  King  Suddhodana  in  modern 
India. 

The  car  of  the  young  Buddha  was  borne  respectfully  along 
by  a  procession  of  gods.  Beautiul  apsarases  sounded  seraphic 
notes  ;  flowers  fell  from  heaven. 

When  the  procession  reached  the  temple,  the  images  of 
the  gods — Indra,  Brahma,  Narayana,  Kouvera  the  God  of 
wealth,  Skanda,  and  the  Four  Maharajas — stood  up  in  their 
places  and  saluted  the  feet  of  the  young  infant,  and  wor 
shipped  him  as  the  transcendental  Deity  revealed  on  earth. 
A  hymn  which  they  sang  on  the  occasion  plainly  shows 
this  :— 

"  Tall  Meru,  King  of  Mountains,  bows  not  down 
To  puny  grain  of  mustard  seed.     The  sea, 
The  yeasty  palace  of  the  Serpent  King, 
Ne'er  stoops  to  greet  the  footprints  of  a  cow  : 
Shall  Sun  or  Moon  salute  a  glistening  worm  ? 
Or  shall  our  Prince  bend  knee  to  gods  of  stone? 
Who  worships  pride,  the  man  or  God  debased, 
Is  like  the  worm,  the  seed,  the  cow-foot  puddle  : 
But  like  the  sun,  the  sea,  and  Meru  Mount, 
Is  Swayambhu,  the  self-existent  God ; 
And  all  who  do  him  homage  shall  obtain 
Heaven  and  Nirvritti." 

When  the  gods  had  finished  this  hymn,  their  statues 
became  animate,  and  the  temple  shone  with  all  the  glory  of 
the  heavenly  host. 

A  passage  from  the  "  First  Gospel  of  the  Infancy  "  may 
be  cited  here.  When  Mary  and  Joseph  fled  to  Egypt,  they 
reached  a  city  where  a  mighty  idol  was  worshipped.  This 
idol  made  the  following  revelation  to  its  priests  :  "  In  this  city 
has  arrived  an  unknown  God,  who  is  the  true  God,  and  none 
other  but  he  is  worthy  of  worship,  because  He  is  the  Son  of 

1  See  Cunningham,  "  Bhilsa  Topes,"  p.  30,  also  plate  xiii. 


30  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

God." l     The    idol    then    tumbled  off  its  pedestal,   and   was 
broken  to  fragments. 

It  is  difficult  to  conceive  that  these  two  narratives  could 
have  been  written  quite  independently.  Plainly  they  both 
convey  the  same  meaning,  namely,  that  the  idols  of  a  dead 
religion  were  greeting  its  successor. 

THE  PRESENTATION  OF  GIFTS. 

A  short  time  after  this,  a  Brahmin,  named  Purohita,  respect 
fully  suggested  to  the  king  that  the  young  Buddha  should 
receive  the  customary  "  gifts."  So  at  sunrise  he  was  carried 
in  the  arms  of  his  aunt,  Maha  Prajapati  Gautami,  to  the  beau 
tiful  Vimalaviyuha,  the  Stainless  Garden.  There,  for  seven 
days  and  nights,  he  was  decked  with  rings  and  bracelets  and 
diadems,  with  strings  of  pearls,  with  rich  silks  and  golden 
tissues  ;  and  young  girls  in  thousands  gazed  at  him  in  rapture. 
In  China,  God  depicted  as  an  Infant  is  as  popular  as  Bala 
Krishna  in  India,  or  the  Virgin  and  Child  in  Italy.  But  on 
this  occasion,  in  the  Stainless  Garden,  those  who  believed  in 
the  efficacy  of  trinkets  and  tawdry  finery  received  a  rebuke. 
Suddenly  a  majestic  spirit  made  half  of  its  divine  form  visible 
and  sang  in  the  clouds — 

"  Cast  off  this  tawdry  show  ! 

The  streams  of  earth  wash  down  their  shining  gold  ; 
Men  gather  it  for  their  bedizenments, 
But  in  that  far-off  river,  on  whose  banks 
The  sweet  rose-apple  2  clusters  o'er  the  pool, 
There  is  an  ore  that  mocks  all  earthly  sheen — 

The  gold  of  blameless  deeds." 

Seydel,  in  a  chapter  headed  "  Gold,  and  Frankincense,  and 
Myrrh,"  3  draws  attention  to  the  similarity  of  the  gift  presenta 
tions  in  the  Indian  and  Christian  narratives. 

In  the  Dulva  it  is  more  than  once  announced  that  "  myrrh, 
garlands,  incense,  etc.,"  were  sacrificed  to  Buddha.4  Gold 
pieces  are  placed  on  the  Buddhist  altar  by  the  Chinese,  and 

1  Ch.  x.  2  Jambu.  3  "  Evangelium  von  Jesu,"  p.  139. 

4   "Asiatic  Researches,"  vol.  xx.  p.  312. 


GIFTS  AND  HOMAGE.  31 

the  consecrated  elements  remain  on  the  altar  by  a  lacquered 
tabernacle.1 


THE  DISPUTATION  WITH  THE  DOCTORS. 

A  little  Brahmin  was  "initiated,"  girt  with  the  holy 
thread,  etc.,  at  eight,  and  put  under  the  tuition  of  a  holy  man. 
Buddha's  like  Rama's  guru  was  named  Visvamitra.  But  the 
youthful  Buddha  soon  showed  that  his  lore  was  far  greater 
than  that  of  his  teacher.  When  Visvamitra  proposed  to 
teach  him  the  alphabet,  the  young  prince  went  off— 

"  In  sounding  '  a?  pronounce  it  as  in  the  sound  of  the  word 
'  anitya.' 

"  In  sounding  <z,'  pronounce  it  as  in  the  word  '  indriya.' 

"  In  sounding '  u,'  pronounce  it  as  in  the  word  *  upagupta.'  " 

And  so  on  through  the  whole  Sanskrit  alphabet.2 

At  his  writing-lesson  he  displayed  the  same  miraculous 
proficiency  ;  and  no  possible  sum  that  his  teachers  or  young 
companions  could  set  him  in  arithmetic3  could  baffle  him. 
In  poetry,  grammar,  in  music,  in  singing,  he  also  proved 
without  a  rival.  In  "joining  his  hands  in  prayer,"  in  the 
knowledge  of  the  Rig  Veda  and  the  holy  books,  in  rites, 
in  magic,  and  in  the  mysteries  of  the  yogi  or  adept  his 
proficiency  was  proclaimed. 

In  the  "  Gospel  of  the  First  Infancy,"  it  is  recorded  that, 
when  taken  to  his  schoolmaster,  Zacch^eus — 

"  The  Lord  Jesus  explained  to  him  the  meaning  of  the 
letters  Aleph  and  Beth. 

"  8.  Also  which  were  the  straight  figures  of  the  letters, 
which  were  the  oblique,  and  what  letters  had  double  figures ; 
which  had  points  and  which  had  none  ;  why  one  letter  went 
before  another ;  and  many  other  things  He  began  to  tell 
.him  and  explain,  of  which  the  master  himself  had  never 
heard  nor  read  in  any  book. 

"9.  The  Lord  Jesus  further  said  to  the  master,  'Take 
notice  how  I  say  to  thee.'  Then  He  began  clearly  and  dis- 

1  Langtes,  "  Rituel  des  Tartares  Mantchous." 

2  "  Rom.  Hist.,"  p.  70.  3  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  pp.  121  and  149. 


32  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

tinctly  to  say,  '  Aleph,  Beth,  Gimel,  Daleth  ; '  and  so  on  to 
the  end  of  the  alphabet. 

"  10.  At  this  the  master  was  so  surprised  that  he  said, 
'  I  believe  this  boy  was  born  before  Noah.' " 

We  read,  also,  in  the  twenty-first  chapter  of  the  "  First 
Gospel  of  the  Infancy,"  the  following  amplification  of  the 
disputation  with  the  doctors  : — 

"  5.  Then  a  certain  principal  Rabbi  asked  Him,  '  Hast 
Thou  read  books  ? ' 

"  6.  Jesus  answered  that  He  had  both  read  books  and 
the  things  which  were  contained  in  books. 

"  7.  And  He  explained  to  them  the  books  of  the  Law,  and 
precepts,  and  statutes,  and  the  mysteries  which  are  contained 
in  the  books  of  the  prophets,  things  which  the  mind  of  no 
creature  could  reach. 

"  8.  Then  said  that  Rabbi,  '  I  never  yet  have  seen  or 
heard  of  such  knowledge.  What  do  you  think  that  boy 
will  be  ? ' 

"  9.  Then  a  certain  astronomer  who  was  present  asked 
the  Lord  Jesus  whether  He  had  studied  astronomy  ? 

"  10.  The  Lord  Jesus  replied,  and  told  him  the  number  of 
the  spheres  and  heavenly  bodies,  as  also  their  triangular, 
square,  and  sextile  aspects  ;  their  progressive  and  retrograde 
motions,  their  size,  and  several  prognostications,  and  other 
things  which  the  reason  of  man  had  never  discovered. 

"n.  There  was  also  among  them  a  philosopher,  well- 
skilled  in  physic  and  natural  philosophy,  who  asked  the  Lord 
Jesus  whether  He  had  studied  physic. 

"  12.  He  replied,  and  explained  to  him  physics  and 
metaphysics. 

"  13.  Also  those  things  which  were  above  and  below  the 
power  of  nature. 

"  14.  The  powers,  also,  of  the  body  ;  its  humours  and  their 
effects. 

"15.  Also  the  number  of  the  bones,  veins,  arteries,  and 
nerves. 

"  1 6.  The  several  constitutions  of  body,  hot  and  dry,  cold 
and  moist,  and  the  tendencies  of  them. 


GIFTS  AND  HOMAGE.  33 

"  17.  How  the  soul  operated  on  the  body. 

"  1 8.  What  its  various  sensations  and  faculties  were. 

"  19.  The  faculty  of  speaking,  anger,  desire. 

"  20.  And,  lastly,  the  manner  of  its  composition  and  dis 
solution,  and  other  things  which  the  understanding  of  no 
creature  had  ever  reached. 

"21.  Then  that  philosopher  worshipped  the  Lord  Jesus, 
and  said,  '  O  Lord  Jesus,  from  henceforth  I  will  be  Thy 
disciple  and  servant.'  " 

Visvamitra  in  like  manner  worshipped  Buddha  by  falling 
at  his  feet. 

I  have  now  shown,  I  think,  that  Mr.  Collins's  assertions 
that  the  points  of  contact  between  the  lives  of  Buddha  and 
Christ  are  found  only  in  the  northern  scriptures,  is  based  on 
error. 

I  must  cite  from  his  lecture  another  passage — 

"  There  is  no  thought  in  the  early  Buddhism  of  which  we 
read  in  the  Palis  texts,  of  a  deliverance  at  the  hand  of  a  god  ; 
but  the  man  Gautama  Buddha  stands  alone  in  his  striving 
after  the  true  emancipation  from  sorrow  and  ignorance.  The 
accounts  of  his  descending  from  heaven,  and  being  conceived 
in  the  world  of  men  when  a  preternatural  light  shone  over 
the  worlds,  the  blind  received  sight,  the  dumb  sang,  the  lame 
danced,  the  sick  were  cured,  together  with  all  such  embellish 
ments,  are  certainly  added  by  later  hands."  1 

Again  I  must  ask,  Has  Mr.  Collins  read  the  Pali  texts  ? 
or  their  translations  by  Professor  Rhys  Davids  or  Mr.  Tumour  ? 
I  will  cite  a  passage  from  the  "  Birth  Stories  "— 

"Now,  at  the  moment  when  the  future  Buddha  made 
himself  incarnate  in  his  mother's  womb,  the  constituent 
elements  of  the  ten  thousand  world-systems  quaked  and 
trembled,  and  were  shaken  violently.  The  Thirty-two  Good 
Omens,  also,  were  made  manifest.  In  the  ten  thousand  world- 
systems  an  immeasurable  light  appeared.  The  blind  received 
their  sight  as  if  from  very  longing  to  behold  his  glory  ;  the 
deaf  heard  the  noise  ;  the  dumb  spake  one  with  another  ; 
the  crooked  became  straight ;  the  lame  walked  ;  all  prisoners 

"  Buddhism  in  relation  to  Christianity,"  p.  6. 

D 


34  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

were  freed  from  their  bonds  and  chains.     In  each  hell  the  fire 
was  extinguished."  1 

Surely  this  is  a  "  deliverance."  Buddha  rules  the  Triloka 
(heaven,  earth,  and  hell),  and  his  avatara  clears  out  the  latter 
region  of  torment.  Have  there  not  been  efforts  in  the  English 
Church  to  prove  that  the  dominions  of  Christ  are  far  less 
extensive  ? 

This  brings  us  to  the  close  of  the  earlier  history,  both 
of  Christ  and  Buddha,  and  it  is  not  astonishing  that  these 
histories  should  be  similar,  for  they  symbolize  the  same 
crucial  phenomenon.  The  higher  mystics,  like  St.  Dionysius, 
St.  John  of  the  Cross,  and  Fenelon,  have  not,  on  the  surface, 
been  as  frank  as  Origen  upon  the  subject  of  the  relative  value 
of  the  historical  and  the  mystical  elements  of  Scripture ;  but 
practically  they  have  allowed  the  mystical  portion  to  over 
shadow  the  historical.  To  assert,  as  some  grave  divines  have 
done,  that  Origen's  interpretation  is  exceptional  and  heretical 
is  to  ignore  the  Jewish  genius  at  the  epoch  of  Philo  and 
Christ.  The  latter  distinctly  asserted  that  a  parabolic  teach 
ing  of  the  mysteries  of  the  kingdom  of  Heaven  was  alone 
permissible  to  the  outside  public  ;  and  St.  Paul  tells  us  that 
the  narrative  of  Agar  and  Sarah  is  purely  an  allegorical 
exposition  of  the  "  bondage  "  of  the  lower  life  and  the  freedom 
of  those  "  born  after  the  spirit  "  (Gal.  iv.  22-29).  "  MY  little 
children  of  whom  I  travail  in  birth  again  until  Christ  be 
found  in  you"  (Gal.  iv.  19). 

The  child  Christ  is  in  every  human  being.  It  is  of  royal 
line,  for  its  father  is  the  universal  spirit.  It  comes  to  earth, 
and  the  branches  of  the  tree  of  knowledge  bend  down  to  it, 
for  the  tree  of  knowledge  in  the  "  Kabbalah  "  represents  the 
kosmos  from  the  material  side.  Its  life  is  sought  by  the 
kings  and  high  priests  of  Beelzebub,  and  the  thrones  and 
kings  of  ghost-land  greet  it  with  spiritual  incense  and  gold. 
It  is  by-and-by  reborn  of  water  and  the  Spirit,  and  sits  under, 
or  is  nailed  upon  the  tree  of  life,  which,  in  the  "  Kabbalah," 
images  the  life  of  the  Spirit. 

1  Rhys  Davids,  "  Birth  Stories,"  p.  64. 


(     35 


CHAPTER  IV. 

"  Out  of  Egypt  have  I  called  My  Son  "— "  The  Great  City  which  spiri 
tually  is  called  Sodom  and  Egypt  "—Two  Mothers  of  the  Perfected 
Mystic— Two  Births— Why  Mary  and  her  Son  are  always  together 
in  the  "  Gospel  of  the  Infancy." 

"OUT  OF  EGYPT  HAVE  I  CALLED  MY  SON." 
MODERN  exegesis  gives  to  the  "Gospel  of  the  Infancy"  a 
much  later  date  than  our  four  Gospels.  The  chief  reason  for 
this  is  that  the  work  is  full  of  impossible  and  apparently 
aimless  marvels.  This  would  be  a  sufficient  reason  if  it  could 
be  proved  that  these  gospels  were  indigenous  to  Palestine  ; 
but  if  the  tales  of  wonder  in  them  are  probably  derived  from 
a  foreign  source,  then  such  an  argument  has  a  modified  force. 
It  must  be  noticed,  too,  that  when  the  "  Gospel  of  the  In 
fancy  "  was  written,  its  author  did  not  seem  to  be  aware  of 
the  existence  of  our  canonical  gospels,  at  least,  in  their 
present  form.  The  only  other  gospel  that  he  takes  cogni 
zance  of  is  the  "  Gospel  of  Perfection  "  ("  First  Infancy,"  ch. 
viii.  v.  13).  That  such  a  Gospel  was  once  in  the  Church  is 
proved  by  Epiphanius  ("  Hser."  26,  para.  2). 

But  a  careful  study  of  the  "  First  Gospel  of  the  Infancy  " 
has  brought  to  my  mind  another  curious  fact.  It  is  a  revela 
tion  of  the  Christian  mysteries,  rounded  and  concise.  The 
time  has  now  come  to  state  what  the  ancient  mysteries  really 
were.  They  shadowed  forth  the  earth-life  of  the  ideal  man, 
under  the  symbolism  of  the  sun's  yearly  journey.  For  the  first 
six  months  he  is  in  the  "  great  city  which  spiritually  is  called 
Sodom  and  Egypt "  (Rev.  xi.  8).  Then  comes  the  turning- 


36  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

point  of  his  career.  At  the  date  of  the  Indian  festival  of  the 
Tree,  the  Jewish  Feast  of  Tabernacles,  he  forsakes  the  lower 
life  for  the  life  of  what  the  "  Kabbalah "  calls  the  "  chosen 
one."  He  enters  a  second  time  into  his  mother's  womb,  and 
is  born  again,  this  time  of  the  celestial  virgin  now  dominating 
the  sky.  Hence,  in  the  "  Litany  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,"  she 
is  still  hymned  as  "  Janua  Cceli." 

Man  is  born  of  matter  and  spirit.  The  life  of  the  Jina, 
the  Jesus,  the  Buddha,  begins  at  the  last  octave  of  the  old 
year,  the  festival  in  India  of  the  Black  Durga,  called  also 
the  Maya  Devi,  whose  name,  in  consequence,  the  Buddhists 
adopted  for  the  mother  of  Buddha.  She  dies  in  a  week, 
because  in  a  week  the  festival  closes  with  her  death.  Her 
image  is  thrown  into  the .  Ganges  yearly  in  India.  The 
burning  of  the  yule-log,  according  to  Wilson,  is  another  pre 
sentation  of  this  death.  When  Buddha  abandons  his  palace 
for  the  life  of  the  Bhiksu,  or  Beggar,  his  mother  comes  down 
from  heaven  to  him  once  more  ;  but  it  is  in  reality  a  new 
mother — Dharma  the  Holy  Spirit.  The  Buddhist  ascetics 
are  called  the  sons  of  Dharma. 

In  the  great  Bible  of  Christian  mystics,  the  works  of  St. 
Dionysius,  this  great  change  is  called  the  "  God  Birth  ;"  and 
the  "  Mother  of  Adoption,"  as  he  calls  it,  is  symbolized  by 
the  baptismal  font,  which  in  his  day  must  have  been  some 
thing  like  the  tanks  in  Buddhist  temples  in  China,  for  a 
triple  immersion  was  part  of  the  ceremony.  In  the  benedic 
tion  of  fonts  in  the  Catholic  Church  occurs  this  passage,  "  ad 
recreandos  novos  populos  quos  tibi  fons  baptismatis  parturit, 
Spiritum  adoptionis  emitte."  St.  Dionysius  tells  us  that  the 
Perfected  Mystic  in  the  early  Church  was  called  the  "  Thera- 
peut."  There  were  three  stages  of  spiritual  progress — 

1.  Purification. 

2.  Illumination. 

3.  Perfection. 

In  the  Middle  Ages  mysticism  was  profoundly  studied. 
I  give  from  Didron  (Plate  I.)  an  illumination  from  a  missal. 
It  is  the  planisphere  of  the  Apocalypse.  I  add  a  little  design 
to  make  its  meaning  more  clear. 


PLATE  I. 


THE   FOUR   HORSES    OF   THE   APOCALYPSE. 

From   Didron.  [Page 


MYSTICAL   "  EGYPT? 


37 


The  special  symbol  of  Christ  was  Aries,  in  India  a  horse  ; 
and  here  we  see  it  passing  along  the  ecliptic. 

The  stages  in  the  Apocalypse 
are — 

1.  The  white    horse   with    a 
sword  (Gemini). 

2.  The  black  horse  with  the 
scales    (Virgo,    strictly,   but    the 
balance  was  very  important   in 
Kabbalistic  mysticism). 

3.  The  white  horse  with  the 
bow  (Sagittarius). 

4.  The  pale   horse  of  death 

(Pisces,  in  India,  as  I  shall  show,  Fig.  5. 

Dharma    Chakra,    the    Quoit   of 

Death,  see  Fig.  5).  The  ancient  mystics  divided  the  plani 
sphere  into  two  halves.  I  shall  go  more  deeply  into  this 
subject  by-and-by.  The  first,  or  lower  life,  is  spiritually 
called  Egypt  in  the  Apocalypse.  The  second  is  the  New 
Jerusalem.  These  in  India  figure  as  women,  the  black  and 
the  white  Durga. 

In  the  "Kabbalah"  these  are  Sophia  and  "  the  Whore." 
The  husband  of  the  latter  is  Samael,  the  Prince  of  Darkness. 
The  pair  in  union  were  known  as  "  the  Beast." ]  "  There 
are  two  cities,"  says  St.  Augustine,  "  one  of  angels  and  good 
men,  the  other  the  city  of  the  wicked."  2 

The  four  grades  of  spiritual  progress  with  Essenes  and 
Buddhists  were  represented  by  the  four  cardinal  points. 
These  are  the  four  sphinxes  of  Ezekiel,  formulated  when  the 
Bull  dominated.  The  sphinx  with  the  face  of  a  man  is 
Aquarius.  The  lion-faced  sphinx  is  Leo.  The  ox-faced 
sphinx  is  Taurus.  And  I  shall  be  able  to  show  later  on  that 
the  eagle  Garuda  in  India  was  the  early  sign  for  the  Balances 
of  the  Zodiac." 

It  is  the  Jewish  Sun  of  Righteousness  with  healing  in  its 
wings. 

1  Ginsburg,  "  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  28. 

2  "  City  of  God,"  bk.  xii.  c.  i. 


38  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  ingenious  symbolic  turns  and  twists  that  have  been 
given  to  these  four  cardinal  points  by  the  mystics  of  all 
nations  would  fill  volumes.  They  represent  the  four  spiritual 
grades  of  Buddhists,  Essenes  and  Pythagoreans.  The  Adept 
in  the  "  Golden  Verses  "  is  called  "  the  Quaternary."  They 
explain  the  mystical  figure  of  Durga  in  India,  with  the  four 
arms  bearing  the  club,  the  shell,  the  sword  or  lingam,  and  the 
noose  of  death.  They  were  represented  by  the  four  great 
officers  of  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries— the  Hieorophant,  who  was 
in  reality  En  Soph,  Brahma,  God  viewed  a  pure  spirit  ;  the 
Torch-Bearer  and  Altar  Minister,  who  had  for  symbols  the 
sun  and  moon,  and  meant,  of  course,  the  fatherly  and  motherly 
principles;  and  the  Herald,  whose  symbol  was  Mercury. 
These  four  characters,  it  is  urged,  have  come  down  to  us  by 
route  of  the  mysteries  and  miracle-plays  in  the  modern 
pantomime.  Harlequin,  with  his  jod  or  wand,  and  Columbine 
from  Columba,  the  dove  or  eagle,  the  old  man,  and  the  clown. 
In  the  cards,  too,  it  has  been  contended  we  get  them  likewise. 
Cards  were  originally  the  tarot  used  for  divination,  and  in 
them  we  have  the  ace  or  monod,  the  father  and  mother,  and 
the  herald  or  messenger.  And  each  little  army  of  thirteen 
months  is  again  marshalled  under  one  of  the  four  mystic 
signs— the  red  heart,  the  club  or  "  tree "  (Virgo) ;  the  black 
spade,  which  is  like  the  thunderbolt  of  Indra. 

In  the  apparatus  of  the  old  magician,  the  four  points  run 
riot  His  four  great  instruments— his  wand,  his  crescent,  his 
lamp,  and  his  sword — are  nothing  more  than  these  four  points. 
The  Essene  was  bound  by  a  terrible  oath  to  keep  the  secrets 
of  the  "Cosmogony"  and  the  "  Tetragrammaton " — two 
secrets,  in  fact,  rolled  into  one. 

The  Kabbalists  said  they  could  class  mankind  by  gazing 
on  their  faces.  The  animal  nature  of  those  who  were  in  the 
first  or  ox  stage  needs  no  interpreter.  This  animal  stage 
terminates  in  India  with  the  sign  of  the  Twins,  called  in  India 
by  a  homely  word  which  signifies  sexual  love. 

"  Out  of  Egypt  have  I  called  My  Son  ! " 
The  meaning  of  this  passage  will  now  be  more  plain,  and 


MYSTICAL  "EGYPT: 


39 


the  "  Gospel  of  the  Infancy  "  appear  less  extravagant.  The 
mother  and  the  Child  Jesus  pass  into  the  mystic  "  Egypt,"  and 
then  the  mother  and  the  Christ-child  pass  into  "Jerusalem." 
The  gnostics  drew  a  wide  distinction  between  "Jesus"  and 
"  Christ." 

This  is  the  story  told  every  Sunday  in  the  Christian  ritual. 
The  "  Lesser  Entrance  "  of  the  priest  signifies  Christ's  descent 
into  the  flesh,  "  Egypt ; "  the  "  Greater  Entrance "  typifies 
"  Jerusalem,"  the  new  and  higher  life  of  the  Therapeut. 

It  is  to  be  observed  that  in  the  "  Gospel  of  the  Infancy  " 
the  mother  and  the  child  are  inseparable,  and  Christ  always  a 
child.  There  is  a  deep  meaning  in  this.  They  heal  the  sick, 
they  give  sight  to  the  blind,  cure  deafness,  restore  the  im 
potent. 

This  is  always  done,  likewise,  through  the  instrumentality 
of  the  water  that  has  washed  the  Child  Christ.  This  is  very 
Buddhistic.  Mary  herself  is  the  water 
of  life,  and  it  is  only  by  the  birth  of 
the  Child  Christ  in  each  of  us  that 
we  can  hope  to  gain  it.  I  give  from 
Didron  a  design,  which  manifestly 
signifies  much  more  than  a  mere 
mother  and  child  on  the  material 
plane.  Whether  this  means  to  re 
present  or  not  the  Child  Christ  in  the 
transparent  womb  of  the  mother,1  I 
cannot  say. 

Neither  Christ  nor  the  early 
Christian  writers  held  the  modern 
jealousy  of  the  "  mysteries  "  of  other 
nations. 

Christ :  "  I  will  utter  things  which 
have  been  kept  secret  from  the  foun 
dation  of  the  world."  2 

St.    Paul :    "  Even    the   mystery  Fig.  6. 

which  hath  been  hid  from  ages  and 

from  generations,  but  now  is  made  manifest  to  his  saints."  3 
1  See  ante,  p.  16.  2  Matt.  xiii.  35.  3  Col.  i.  26. 


40  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  The  gospel  which  ye  have  heard,  and  which  was  preached 
to  every  creature  under  heaven,  whereof  I  Paul  am  made  a 
minister."  1 

Clement  of  Alexandria  ;  "And  those  who  lived  according 
to  the  Logos  were  really  Christians,  though  they  have  been 
thought -to  be  atheists,  as  Socrates  and  Heraclitus  were  among 
the  Greeks,  and  such  as  resembled  them."  2 

St.  Augustine :  "  For  the  thing  itself  which  is  now  called 
the  Christian  religion  really  was  known  to  the  ancients,  nor 
was  wanting  at  any  time  from  the  beginning  of  the  human 
race  until  the  time  that  Christ  came  in  the  flesh,  from  whence 
the  true  religion  which  had  previously  existed  began  to  be 
called  '  Christian  ; '  and  this  in  our  day  is  the  Christian  religion, 
not  as  having  been  wanting  in  former  times,  but  as  having  in 
later  times  received  this  name."  ' 

Justin  Martyr:  "  If,  then,  we  hold  some  opinions  near  of 
kin  to  the  poets  and  philosophers  in  greatest  repute  amongst 
you,  why  are  we  unjustly  hated  ?  ...  By  declaring  the  Logos 
the  first-begotten  of  God,  our  Master,  Jesus  Christ,  to  be  born 
of  a  virgin  without  any  human  mixture,  and  to  be  crucified 
and  dead,  and  to  have  risen  again  and  ascended  into  heaven, 
we  say  no  more  in  this  than  what  you  say  of  those  whom  you 
style  the  Sons  of  Jove." 

Violent  polemical  writers  like  Tertullian  are  still  more 
explicit :  "  The  devil,  whose  business  it  is  to  pervert  the  truth, 
mimics  the  exact  circumstances  of  the  divine  sacraments  in 
the  mysteries  of  idols.  He  himself  baptizes  some — that  is  to 
say,  his  believers  and  followers.  He  promises  forgiveness  of 
sins  from  the  sacred  fount,  and  thus  initiates  them  into  the 
religion  of  Mithras.  He  marks  on  the  forehead  his  own 
soldiers.  He  then  celebrates  the  Oblation  of  Bread,  and 
introduces  an  image  of  the  resurrection,  and  before  a  sword 
wreathes  a  crown."  4 

1  Col.  i.  23.  2  Clemen.  Alex.,  "  Strom." 

3  "  Opera,"  vol.  i.  p.  12.  4  "  Haer.,"  cap.  xl. 


CHAPTER   V. 
BUDDHA'S  GREAT  RENUNCIATION. 

CHRIST  has  frequently  been  judged  a  non-existent  person,  and 
so  has  Buddha.  The  main  reason  for  this  is,  that  the  lives  of 
each  have  for  symbolism  the  course  of  the  sun  during  its 
yearly  journey.  For  this,  however,  there  were  two  reasons 
quite  distinct  from  vulgar  sun-worship. 

The  first  was,  that  all  the  mysteries  consisted  in  the 
revealing  of  the  infinite  transcendental  God,  through  the 
medium  of  the  heavenly  Man,  whose  symbol  was  the  great 
dome  of  heaven.  This  was  not  God  Himself,  as  Dupuis 
asserted,  but  what  the  "  Kabbalah  "  calls  the  "  Garment  of  God." 
Indian  Upanishads  draw  the  same  distinction.  And  alon^ 

o 

the  zodiacal  hem  of  this  garment,  it  was  figured  that  the 
"  Chosen  One  "  had  to  travel  to  become  one  with  the  heavenly 
Man.  Hence  the  importance  of  the  word  Chakravartin  in 
the  Buddhist  scriptures.  The  stages  of  spiritual,  or  in  mystic 
parlance  interior  progress,  were  marked  by  the  signs  of  the 
zodiac.  A  second  sufficient  reason  was,  that  the  grosser 
anthropomorphic  forms  of  worship  for  the  least  spiritual  of 
the  community  had,  of  course,  to  be  regulated  by  the  kalendar. 

Proof  that  both  Christ  and  Buddha  were  historical  per 
sonages  comes  most  completely  from  examining  their  lives 
together.  Much  is  like  and  much  is  unlike.  At  this  point 
their  histories  diverge  for  some  time,  and  I  will  turn  to 
Buddha,  condensing  my  "  Popular  Life  of  Buddha,"  to  which 
all  who  wish  for  more  ample  details  are  referred. 

The  soothsayers  had  pronounced  that  the  infant  would  be 


42  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

one  of  two  things — a  mighty  earthly  conqueror  or  a  hermit. 
This  prophecy  plainly  gave  the  king  much  concern.  An 
earthly  emperor,  surrounded  by  elephants  and  horsemen,  and 
spearmen  and  bowmen  was  a  tangible  object — tangible  as  his 
rich  palaces  and  towers  and  shining  emeralds  ;  but  the  advan 
tages  of  the  pious  hermit  were  very  unsubstantial  indeed— 

"  Gaining,  who  knows  what  good,  when  all  is  lost 
Worth  keeping." l 

So  by-and-by  it  came  into  the  mind  of  the  king  that  he  would 
consult  more  soothsayers,  to  see  if  more  definite  knowledge 
about  the  young  man's  future  could  be  obtained.  A  number 
of  pious  hermits,  gifted  with  the  divine  wisdom,  were  in  con 
sequence  got  together.  They  pronounced  the  following  : — 

"  The  young  boy  will,  without  doubt,  be  either  a  king  of 
kings  or  a  great  Buddha.  If  he  is  destined  to  be  a  great 
Buddha,  *  four  presaging  tokens  '  will  make  his  mission  plain. 
He  will  see — 

"  i.  An  old  man. 
"  2.  A  sick  man. 
"  3.  A  corpse. 
"  4.  A  holy  recluse. 

"  If  he  fails  to  see  these  four  presaging  tokens  of  an 
avatara,  he  will  be  simply  a  Chakravartin." 

King  Suddhodana  was  very  much  comforted  by  the  last 
prediction  of  the  soothsayers.  He  thought  in  his  heart,  It 
will  be  an  easy  thing  to  keep  these  four  presaging  tokens 
from  the  young  prince.  So  he  gave  orders  that  three  magni 
ficent  palaces  should  at  once  be  built — the  Palace  of  Spring, 
the  Palace  of  Summer,  the  Palace  of  Winter.  These  palaces, 
as  we  learn  from  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  were  the  most  beautiful 
palaces  ever  conceived  on  earth.  Indeed,  they  were  quite 
able  to  cope  in  splendour  with  Vaijayanta,  the  immortal 
palace  of  Indra  himself.  Costly  pavilions  were  built  out  in 
all  directions,  with  ornamented  porticoes  and  furbished  doors. 
Turrets  and  pinnacles  soared  into  the  sky.  Dainty  little  oval 
windows  gave  light  to  the  rich  apartments.  Galleries,  balus- 

1  "Light  of  Asia,"  p.  25. 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  43 

trades,  and  delicate  trellis-work  were  abundant  everywhere. 
A  thousand  bells  tinkled  on  each  roof.  We  seem  to  have  the 
lacquered  Chinese  edifices  of  the  pattern  which  architects 
believe  to  have  flourished  in  early  India.  The  gardens  of 
these  fine  palaces  rivalled  the  chess-board  in  the  rectangular 
exactitude  of  their  parterres  and  trellis-work  bowers.  Cool 
lakes  nursed  on  their  calm  bosoms  storks  and  cranes,  wild 
geese  and  tame  swans  ;  ducks,  also,  as  parti-coloured  as  the 
white,  red,  and  blue  lotuses  amongst  which  they  swam. 
Bending  to  these  lakes  were  bowery  trees — the  champak,  the 
acacia  serisha,  and  the  beautiful  asoka-tree  with  its  orange- 
scarlet  flowers.  Above  rustled  the  mimosa,  the  fan-palm, 
and  the  feathery  pippala,  Buddha's  tree.  The  air  was  heavy 
with  the  strong  scent  of  the  tuberose  and  the  Arabian  jasmine. 

It  must  be  mentioned  that  strong  ramparts  were  prepared 
round  the  palaces  of  Kapilavastu,  to  keep  out  all  old  men, 
sick  men,  and  recluses,  and,  I  must  add,  to  keep  in  the  prince. 

And  a  more  potent  safeguard  still  was  designed.  When 
the  prince  was  old  enough  to  marry,  all  the  young  girls  of 
the  kingdom  were  marshalled  before  him.  To  each  he  gave 
a  rich  bangle,  or  a  brooch  set  in  diamonds,  or  some  expensive 
gewgaw.  But  the  spies  who  had  been  set  to  watch  him 
remarked  that  he  gazed  upon  them  all  with  listless  eye. 
When  the  rich  collection  of  jewels  was  quite  exhausted,  a 
maiden  of  exquisite  beauty  entered  the  apartment.  Buddha 
gazed  at  her  spell-bound,  and  felt  confused  because  he  had 
no  gift  to  offer  to  her.  The  young  girl,  without  any  false 
modesty,  went  to  him,  and  said  abruptly— 

"Young  man,  what  offence  have  I  given  thee,  that  thou 
shouldst  contemn  me  thus  ?  " 

"  I  do  not  contemn  thee,  young  girl,"  said  the  prince,  "  but 
in  truth  thou  hast  come  in  rather  late ! "  And  he  sent  for 
some  other  jewels  of  great  value,  which  he  presented  to  the 
young  girl. 

"  Is  it  proper,  young  man,"  she  said,  with  a  slight  blush, 
"  that  I  should  receive  such  costly  gifts  from  thee  ?  " 

"  The  ornaments  are  mine,"  he  said,  "  therefore  take  them 
away ! " 


44  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  young  girl  answered  simply,  "  Not  having  any  trinkets 
I  could  not  deck  myself,  but  now  I  will  bear  me  bravely." 
The  spies,  cunning  in  furtive  glances  and  blushes,  reported 
everything  to  the  king. 

The  name  of  the  young  girl  was  Gopa.  M.  Foucaux  con 
ceives  that  the  name  is  identical  with  the  "milkmaid," 
beloved  by  Krishna. 

The  king  was  delighted  that  his  son  had  fallen  in  love. 
He  at  once  sent  the  Brahmin  Purohita  to  Sakya  Dandapani, 
the  young  girl's  father,  to  demand  her  hand  in  marriage  for 
his  son.  Dandapani's  reply  to  the  king  was  this  : — 

"  The  noble  young  man  has  lived  all  his  life  in  the  sloth 
and  luxury  of  a  palace,  and  my  family  never  gives  a  daughter 
excepting  to  a  man  of  courage  and  strength,  one  who  can 
ply  the  bow  and  wield  the  two-handed  sword." 

This  answer  made  the  king  sad.  Several  other  haughty 
Sakya  families  had  previously  said,  "  Our  daughters  refuse  to 
come  near  a  young  milksop." 

When  the  king  confided  the  source  of  his  sadness  to  his 
son,  the  latter  said,  with  a  smile — 

"If  this  is  the  cause  of  thy  grief,  O  father,  let  me  try  con 
clusions  with  these  valiant  young  Sakyas." 

"  Canst  thou  wrestle  ?     Canst  thou  shoot  with  the  bow  ?  " 

"  Summon  these  young  heroes,  and  \ve  will  see." 

Immense  importance  was  attached  by  the  Aryas  to  the 
festival  of  the  Summer  Solstice.  The  Greeks  had  their 
Olympia,  when  the  whole  population  met  together  to  witness 
the  wrestling,  the  bow  shooting,  the  chariot  races.  The  victor 
in  these  was  carried  home  in  a  pompous  procession.  In 
ancient  India,  a  woman,  famous  for  her  beauty,  was  made  the 
chief  prize,  and  the  marriage  was  called  Swayafrivara  (marriage 
by  athletic  competition).  By  this  institution  the  manhood 
and  courage  of  the  State  were  powerfully  stimulated.  It 
must  be  borne  in  mind  that  a  skilful  use  of  the  bow,  the  club, 
and  the  war-chariot  meant  independence  to  the  community. 
On  the  other  hand,  an  unskilful  use  subjected  the  whole  tribe 
to  be  captured  and  detained  as  prisoners  of  war.  They  might 
be  sacrificed  to  Rudra  at  the  autumn  festival.  Or  if  they 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  45 

were  lucky  enough  to  escape  this,  they  were  slaves  for  the 
rest  of  their  lives.  As  details  of  the  memorable  Swayamvara 
where  the  beautiful  Gopa  was  the  prize  are  rather  meagre, 
perhaps  I  may  be  permitted  to  supply  some  from  the  epics. 

A  vast  plain  was  selected  on  these  occasions,  and  levelled 
and  swept.  Round  this  pavilions  and  lacquered  palaces  of 
the  Chinese  pattern  were  hastily  erected.  Their  dainty  spires 
and  columns  and  roofs  stood  out  against  the  blue  sky,  "  like 
the  snowy  pinnacles  of  the  mountain  range  Kailasa,"  says  the 
Mahabharata.  Carpets  and  sofas  and  thrones  were  spread 
in  these  for  the  kings  and  competing  heroes.  In  front  of  each 
pavilion  were  heavy  awnings  on  glittering  poles.  The  power 
ful  perfumes  of  India,  the  aloes,  and  the  balm,  could  be 
scented  from  afar.  The  priests  poured  clarified  butter  into 
the  holy  fire.  Mummers  and  dancers  and  singers  performed 
miracle-plays,  not  differing  much  from  the  modern  pantomime; 
religious  disputants  chopped  logic.  Each  guest  was  expected 
to  be  lavish  of  his  gifts.  This  made  the  poor  man  as  merry 
as  the  rich  one. 

Devadatta,  a  rival  of  Buddha,  slaughters  an  elephant,  and 
places  it  in  the  pathway  of  Buddha  when  he  was  proceeding 
to  the  tournament.  Buddha,  with  unexpected  strength  hurls 
it  to  a  distance  to  prevent  it  from  infecting  the  neighbour 
hood.  "The  elephantine  cloud,"  says  M.  Senart,  "and  the 
lightning  were  much  to  Indian  myth-makers." 

A  competition  for  a  high-born  princess  includes  learning, 
as  well  as  the  athleticism.  Buddha,  as  I  have  already 
mentioned,  first  eclipses  his  neighbours  in  the  former.  Then 
come  swimming,  jumping,  running,  and  none  have  a  chance 
against  him.  Then  comes  the  important  issue  of  wrestling. 
This  in  India  has  been  cultivated  and  honoured  from  time 
immemorial.  Buddha  first  vanquishes  Nanda  and  Ananda. 
Ananda  is  the  brother  of  the  unfriendly  Devadatta,  who  next 
comes  forward  to  avenge  him  : — 

"Then  the  young  Sakya  Devadatta,  puffed  with  the  pride 
of  race  and  the  insolence  of  strength,  came  forth  to  the  con 
test.  He  circled  round  with  much  rapidity  and  skill,  and, 
watching  his  opportunity,  he  sprang  upon  the  prince." 


46  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

But  Buddha  is  merciful  as  well  as  strong.  He  causes  the 
conceited  young  man  to  execute  a  somersault  in  the  air,  and 
then  catches  him  before  he  can  be  hurt.  Afterwards,  all  the 
young  heroes  in  a  body  attack  the  prince,  but  with  the  same 
ill-fortune. 

But  the  Aryas,  like  their  descendants,  the  Anglo-Saxons 
of  Crecy,  were  unrivalled  bowmen.  Archery  was  the  real 
test  of  a  hero  in  the  old  epics.  Preparations  now  take  place 
for  that  crucial  issue. 

Ananda  sets  up  a  drum  of  iron.  Devadatta  sets  up 
another  at  double  the  distance.  Sundarananda  sets  up  a 
third  drum  at  a  distance  of  six  krosas.  Dandapani  sets  up  a 
drum  at  a  greater  distance  still.  By  Dandapani's  drum  are 
seven  tall  palm-trees,  and  beyond  this  a  figure  of  a  wild  beast 

in  iron. 

Ananda  lets  fly  a  shaft.  It  pierces  the  drum  which  he 
had  set  up.  Beyond  that  distance  he  cannot  shoot.  Deva 
datta  pierces  his  drum.  Sundarananda  pierces  the.  drum  set 
up  at  six  krosas.  Dandapani  smites  his  drum.  But  beyond 
his  selected  distance  each  archer  is  powerless. 

And  now  it  is  the  turn  of  Buddha  to  shoot,  but  no  bow  is 
strong  enough  to  bear  the  strength  of  his  arm.  One  after 
another  they  break  in  the  stringing.  At  last  it  is  recollected 
that,  in  one  of  the  shrines,  there  is  the  bow  of  his  grandfather, 
Simhahanu  (Lion  Jaw),  a  weapon  so  mighty  that  no  warrior 
can  even  lift  it.  Attendants  are  sent  off  to  fetch  it.  The 
strongest  Sakyas  attempt  to  string  it,  but  all  in  vain. 

Then  the  prince  himself  takes  up  the  bow  of  the  mighty 
Lion  Jaw.  With  ease  he  strings  it,  and  the  sound  of  its 
stringing  re-echoes  through  the  wide  city  of  Kapilavastu. 
Amid  immense  excitement  he  adjusts  an  arrow  and  prepares 
to  shoot.  His  shaft  transfixes  the  first  drum,  the  second 
drum,  the  third  drum,  the  fourth  drum,  and  then  tearing 
swiftly  through  the  seven  trees  and  the  wild  beast  of  iron, 
buries  itself  like  the  lightning  in  the  ground. 

Other  competitions  take  place.  The  prince  shows  his 
superiority  in  riding  the  horse,  riding  the  elephant  with  an 
iron  goad ;  in  poetry,  painting,  music,  dancing,  and  even 


THE    GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  47 

jocularity,  in  the  «  art  of  the  fist  "  and  in  "  kicking."  He  also 
shines  in  his  knowledge  of  occult  mysteries,  in  «  prophecy,"  in 
the  explanation  of  dreams,  in  "  magic,"  in  "joining  his  hands 
in  prayer." 

After  this  manner  Buddha  won  the  beautiful  Gopa.  She 
is  called  Yasodhara  in  the  Southern  narrative. 

Perhaps,  at  this  time,  the  good  King  Suddhodana  was 
more  happy  than  even  the  prince  in  the  ecstasy  of  his  honey 
moon.  He  had  found  for  that  prince  the  most  beautiful  wife 
in  the  world.  He  had  built  him  palaces  that  were  the  talk 
of  the  whole  of  Hindostan.  No  Indian  maharaja  before  had 
had  such  beautiful  palaces,  such  lovely  wives  and  handmaidens, 
such  dancing  girls,  singers,  jewels,  luxuries.  In  his  bowers  of 
camphor  cinnamon,  amid  the  enchanting  perfumes  of  the 
tuberose  and  the  santal-tree,  his  life  must  surely  be  one  long 
bliss,  a  dream  that  has  no  awakening. 

But  suddenly  this  exultation  was  dashed  with  a  note  of 
•woe.  The  king  dreamt  that  he  saw  his  son  in  the  russet  cowl 
of  the  beggar-hermit  Awaking  in  a  fright,  he  called  an 
eunuch — 

"  Is  my  son  in  the  palace  ?  "  he  asked  abruptly 

"  He  is,  O  king." 

The  dream  frightened  the  king  very  much,  and  he  ordered 
five  hundred  guards  to  be  placed  at  every  corner  of  the  walls 
of  the  Palace  of  Summer.  And  the  soothsayers  having 
announced  that  a  Buddha,  if  he  escapes  at  all,  always  escapes 
by  the  Gate  of  Benediction,  folding  doors  of  immense  size 
were  here  erected.  The  sound  of  their  swing  on  their  hinges 
resounded  to  a  distance  of  half  a  yogana  (three  and  a  half 
miles).  Five  hundred  men  were  required  to  stir  either  gate. 
These  precautions  completely  quieted  the  king's  mind,  until 
one  day  he  received  a  terrible  piece  of  news.  His  son  had 
seen  the  first  of  the  four  presaging  tokens.  He  had  seen  an 
Old  Man. 

This  is  how  the  matter  came  about.  The  king  had  pre 
pared  a  garden  even  more  beautiful  than  the  garden  of  the 
Palace  of  Summer.  A  soothsayer  had  told  him  that  if  he 
could  succeed  in  showing  the  prince  this  garden,  the  prince 


48  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

would  be  content  to  remain  in  it  with  his  wives  for  ever.  No 
task  seemed  easier  than  this,  so  it  was  arranged  that  on  a 
certain  day  the  prince  should  be  driven  thither  in  his  chariot. 
But,  of  course,  immense  precautions  had  to  be  taken  to  keep 
all  old  men,  and  sick  men,  and  corpses  from  his  sight.  Quite 
an  army  of  soldiers  was  told  off  for  this  duty,  and  the  city  was 
decked  with  flags.  The  path  of  the  prince  was  strewn  with 
flowers  and  scents,  and  adorned  with  vases  of  the  rich  kadali 
plant.  Above  were  costly  hangings  and  garlands,  and  pagodas 
of  bells. 

But,  lo  and  behold  !  as  the  prince  was  driving  along,  plump 
under  the  wheels  of  his  chariot,  and  before  the  very  noses  of 
the  silken  nobles  and  the  warriors  with  javelins  and  shields, 
he  saw  an  unusual  sight.  This  was  an  old  man,  very  decrepit 
and  very  broken.  The  veins  and  nerves  of  his  body  were 
swollen  and  prominent ;  his  teeth  chattered  ;  he  was  wrinkled, 
bald,  and  his  few  remaining  hairs  were  of  dazzling  whiteness  ; 
he  was  bent  very  nearly  double,  and  tottered  feebly  along, 
supported  by  a  stick. 

"  What  is  this,  O  coachman  ?  "  said  the  prince.  "  A  man 
with  his  blood  all  dried  up,  and  his  muscles  glued  to  his 
body!  His  head  is  white;  his  teeth  knock  together;  he 
is  scarcely  able  to  move  along,  even  with  the  aid  of  that 
stick ! " 

"  Prince,"  said  the  coachman,  "  this  is  Old  Age.  This 
man's  senses  are  dulled  ;  suffering  has  destroyed  his  spirit ; 
he  is  contemned  by  his  neighbours.  Unable  to  help  himself, 
he  has  been  abandoned  in  this  forest." 

"  Is  this  a  peculiarity  of  his  family  ?  "  demanded  the  prince, 
"  or  is  it  the  law  of  the  world  ?  Tell  me  quickly." 

"  Prince,"  said  the  coachman,  "  it  is  neither  a  law  of  his 
family,  nor  a  law  of  the  kingdom.  In  every  being  youth  is 
conquered  by  age.  Your  own  father  and  mother  and  all  your 
relations  will  end  in  old  age.  There  is  no  other  issue  to 
humanity." 

"Then  youth  is  blind  and  ignorant,"  said  the  prince, 
"and  sees  not  the  future.  If  this  body  is  to  be  the  abode 
of  old  age,  what  have  I  to  do  with  pleasure  and  its  intoxi- 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  49 

cations  ?     Turn  round  the  chariot,  and  drive  me  back  to  the 
palace ! " 

Consternation  was  in  the  minds  of  all  the  courtiers  at  this 
untoward  occurrence ;  but  the  odd  circumstance  of  all  was 
that  no  one  was  ever  able  to  bring  to  condign  punishment  the 
miserable  author  of  the  mischief.  The  old  man  could  never 
be  found. 

King  Suddhodana  was  at  first  quite  beside  himself  with 
tribulation.  Soldiers  were  summoned  from  the  distant  pro 
vinces,  and  a  cordon  of  detachments  thrown  out  to  a  distance 
of  four  miles  in  each  direction,  to  keep  the  other  presaging 
tokens  from  the  prince.1  By-and-by  the  king  became  a  little 
more  quieted.  A  ridiculous  accident  had  interfered  with  his 
plans :  "  If  my  son  could  see  the  Garden  of  Happiness  he 
never  would  become  a  hermit."  The  king  determined  that 
another  attempt  should  be  made.  But  this  time  the  pre 
cautions  were  doubled. 

On  the  first  occasion  the  prince  left  the  Palace  of  Summer 
by  the  eastern  gate.  The  second  expedition  was  through  the 
southern  gate. 

But  another  untoward  event  occurred.  As  the  prince  was 
driving  along  in  his  chariot,  suddenly  he  saw  close  to  him  a 
man  emaciated,  ill,  loathsome,  burning  with  fever.  Com- 
panionless,  uncared  for,  he  tottered  along,  breathing  with 
extreme  difficulty. 

"Coachman,"  said  the  prince,  "what  is  this  man,  livid 
and  loathsome  in  body,  whose  senses  are  dulled,  and  whose 
limbs  are  withered  ?  His  stomach  is  oppressing  him  ;  he 
is  covered  with  filth.  Scarcely  can  he  draw  the  breath  of 
life ! " 

"  Prince,"  said  the  coachman,  "  this  is  Sickness.  This  poor 
man  is  attacked  with  a  grievous  malady.  Strength  and  com 
fort  have  shunned  him.  He  is  friendless,  hopeless,  without 
a  country,  without  an  asylum.  The  fear  of  death  is  before 
his  eyes." 

"If  the  health  of  man,"  said  Buddha,  "is  but  the  sport  of 
a  dream,  and  the  fear  of  coming  evils  can  put  on  so  loathsome 

1  Spence  Hardy,  "  Manual  of  Buddhism,"  p.  155,  et  seq. 

E 


50  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

a  shape,  how  can  the  wise  man,  who  has  seen  what  life  really 
means,  indulge  in  its  vain  delights?  Turn  back,  coachman, 
and  drive  me  to  the  palace  !  " 

The  angry  king,  when  he  heard  what  had  occurred,  gave 
orders  that  the  sick  man  should  be  seized  and  punished,  but 
although  a  price  was  placed  on  his  head,  and  he  was  searched 
for  far  and  wide,  he  could  never  be  caught.  A  clue  to  this 
is  furnished  by  a  passage  in  the  "  Lalita  Vistara."  The  sick 
man  was  in  reality  one  of  the  Spirits  of  the  Pure  Abode, 
masquerading  in  sores  and  spasms.  These  Spirits  of  the  Pure 
Abode  are  also  called  the  Buddhas  of  the  past,  in  many 

passages. 

And  it  would  almost  seem  as  if  some  influence,  malefic  or 
otherwise,  was  stirring  the  good  King  Suddhodana.  Un 
moved  by  failure,  he  urged  the  prince  to  a  third  effort.  The 
chariot  this  time  was  to  set  out  by  the  western  gate.  Greater 
precautions  than  ever  were  adopted.  The  chain  of  guards 
was  posted  at  least  twelve  miles  off  from  the  Palace  of 
Summer.  But  the  Buddhas  of  the  Ten  Horizons  again 
arrested  the  prince.  His  chariot  was  suddenly  crossed  by  a 
phantom  funeral  procession.  A  phantom  corpse,  smeared 
with  the  orthodox  mud,  and  spread  with  a  sheet,  was  carried 
on  a  bier.  Phantom  women  wailed,  and  phantom  musicians 
played  on  the  drum  and  the  Indian  flute.  No  doubt  also, 
phantom  Brahmins  chanted  hymns  to  Jatavedas,  to  bear 
away  the  immortal  part  of  the  dead  man  to  the  home  of 
the  Pitris. 

«  What  is  this  ?  "  said  the  prince.  "  Why  do  these  women 
beat  their  breasts  and  tear  their  hair  ?  Why  do  these  good 
folks  cover  their  heads  with  the  dust  of  the  ground.  ^And 
that  strange  form  upon  its  litter,  wherefore  is  it  so  rigid  ?  " 

"  Prince,"  said  the  charioteer,  "  this  is  Death  !  Yon  form, 
pale  and  stiffened,  can  never  again  walk  and  move.  Its 
owner  has  gone  to  the  unknown  caverns  of  Yama.  His 
father,  his  mother,  his  child,  his  wife  cry  out  to  him,  but  he 
cannot  hear." 

Buddha  was  sad. 

"  Woe  be  to  youth,  which  is  the  sport  of  age  !     Woe  be  to 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  51 

health,  which  is  the  sport  of  many  maladies !  Woe  be  to  life, 
which  is  as  a  breath !  Woe  be  to  the  idle  pleasures  which 
debauch  humanity!  But  for  the  'five  aggregations'  there 
would  be  no  age,  sickness,  nor  death.  Go  back  to  the  city. 
I  must  compass  the  deliverance." 

A  fourth  time  the  prince  was  urged  by  his  father  to  visit 
the  Garden  of  Happiness.  The  chain  of  guards  this  time  was 
sixteen  miles  away.  The  exit  was  by  the  northern  gate. 
But  suddenly  a  calm  man  of  gentle  mien,  wearing  an  ochre- 
red  cowl,  was  seen  in  the  roadway. 

"  Who  is  this  ? "  said  the  prince,  "  rapt,  gentle,  peaceful  in 
mien  ?  He  looks  as  if  his  mind  were  far  away  elsewhere. 
He  carries  a  bowl  in  his  hand." 

"  Prince,  this  is  the  New  Life,"  said  the  charioteer.  "  That 
man  is  of  those  whose  thoughts  are  fixed  on  the  eternal 
Brahma  [Brahmacharin].  He  seeks  the  divine  voice.  He 
seeks  the  divine  vision.  He  carries  the  alms-bowl  of  the  holy 
beggar  [bhikshu].  His  mind  is  calm,  because  the  gross  lures 
of  the  lower  life  can  vex  it  no  more." 

"  Such  a  life  I  covet,"  said  the  prince.  "  The  lusts  of  man 
are  like  the  sea-water — they  mock  man's  thirst  instead  of 
quenching  it.  I  will  seek  the  divine  vision,  and  give  im 
mortality  to  man  ! " 

King  Suddhodana  was  beside  himself.  He  placed  five 
hundred  corseleted  Sakyas  at  every  gate  of  the  Palace  of 
Summer.  Chains  of  sentries  were  round  the  walls,  which 
were  raised  and  strengthened.  A  phalanx  of  loving  wives, 
armed  with  javelins,  was  posted  round  the  prince's  bed  to 
"  narrowly  watch  "  him.  The  king  ordered  all  the  allurements 
of  sense  to  be  constantly  presented  to  the  prince. 

"  Let  the  women  of  the  zenana  cease  not  for  an  instant 
their  concerts  and  mirth  and  sports.  Let  them  shine  in  silks 
and  sparkle  in  diamonds  and  emeralds." 

Maha  Prajapati,  the  aunt  who  since  Queen  Maya  s  death 
has  acted  as  foster-mother,  has  charge  of  these  pretty  young 
women,  and  she  incites  them  to  encircle  the  prince  in  a  "  cap-e 
of  gold." 

The  allegory  is  in  reality  a  great  battle  between  two  camps 


52  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

—the  denizens  of  the  Kamaloka,  or  the  Domains  of  Appetite, 
and  the  denizens  of  the  Brahmaloka,  the  Domains  of  Pure 
Spirit.  The  latter  are  unseen,  but  not  unfelt. 

For  one  day,  when  the  prince  reclined  on  a  silken  couch, 
listening  to  the  sweet  crooning  of  four  or  five  brown-skinned, 
large-eyed  Indian  girls,  his  eyes  suddenly  assumed  a  dazed 
and  absorbed  look,  and  the  rich  hangings  and  garlands  and 
intricate  trellis-work  of  the  golden  apartment  were  still 
present,  but  dim  to  his  mind.  And  music  and  voices,  more 
sweet  than  he  had  ever  listened  to,  seemed  faintly  to  reach 
him.  I  will  write  down  some  of  the  verses  he  heard,  as  they 
contain  the  mystic  inner  teaching  of  Buddhism. 

"  Mighty  prop  of  humanity 
March  in  the  pathway  of  the  Rishis  of  old, 
Go  forth  from  this  city  ! 
Upon  this  desolate  earth, 

When  thou  hast  acquired  the  priceless  knowledge  of  the  Jinas, 
When  thou  hast  become  a  perfect  Buddha, 

Give  to  all  flesh  the  baptism  (river)  of  the  Kingdom  of  Righteousness. 
Thou  who  once  didst  sacrifice  thy  feet,  thy  hands,  thy  precious  body, 

and  all  thy  riches  for  the  world, 
Thou  whose  life  is  pure,  save  flesh  from  its  miseries  ! 
In  the  presence  of  reviling  be  patient,  O  conqueror  of  self ! 
Lord  of  those  who  possess  two  feet,  go  forth  on  thy  mission  ! 
Conquer  the  evil  one  and  his  army." 

Thus  run  some  more  of  these  gathas  :— 

"  Light  of  the  world  !  [lamp  du  monde— Foucaux], 
In  former  kalpas  this  vow  was  made  by  thee  : 
'  For  the  worlds  that  are  a  prey  to  death  and  sickness  I  will  be  a 

refuge ! ' 
Lion  of  men,  master  of  those  that  walk  on  two  feet,  the  time  for  thy 

mission  has  come ! 
Under  the  sacred  Bo-tree  acquire  immortal  dignity,  and  give  Amnta 

(immortality)  to  all ! 

When  thou  wert  a  king  (in  a  former  existence),  and  a  subject  inso 
lently  said  to  thee  :  '  These  lands  and  cities,  give  them  to  me !' 
Thou  wert  rejoiced  and  not  troubled. 
Once  when  thou  wert  a  virtuous  Rishi,  and  a  cruel  king  in  anger  hacked 

off  thy  limbs,  in  thy  death  agony  milk  flowed  from  thy  feet  and  thy 

hands. 
When  thou  didst  dwell  on  a  mountain  as  the  Rishi  Syama,  a  king 

having  transfixed  thee  with  poisoned  arrows,  didst  thou  not  forgive 

this  king  ? 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  53 

When  thou  wert  the  king  of  antelopes,  didst  thou  not  save  thine  enemy 

the  hunter  from  a  torrent  ? 
When  thou  wert  an  elephant  and  a  hunter  pierced  thee,  thou  forgavest 

him,  and  didst  reward  him  with  thy  beautiful  tusks ! 
Once  when  thou  wert  a  she-bear  thou  didst  save  a  man  from  a  torrent 

swollen  with  snow.     Thou  didst  feed  him  on  roots  and  fruit  until 

he  grew  strong  ; 
And  when  he  went  away  and  brought  back  men  to  kill  thee,  thou 

forgavest  him ! 

Once  when  thou  wert  a  white  horse,1 
In  pity  for  the  suffering  of  man, 

Thou  didst  fly  across  heaven  to  the  region  of  the  evil  demons, 
To  secure  the  happiness  of  mankind. 
Persecutions  without  end, 
Revilings  and  many  prisons, 
Death  and  murder, 

These  hast  thou  suffered  with  love  and  patience, 
Forgiving  thine  executioners. 
Kingless,  men  seek  thee  for  a  king  ! 

'Stablish  them  in  the  way  of  Brahma  and  of  the  ten  virtues, 
That  when  they  pass  away  from  amongst  their  fellow-men,  they  may 

all  go  to  the  abode  of  Brahma. 
In  times  past,  having  seen  men  fallen  into  evil  ways,  and  vexed  by  age, 

sickness,  and  many  griefs,  thou  didst  make  them  understand  which 

was  the  straight  way  from  this  world  of  destruction  ! 
Conqueror  of  the  darkness,  thou  hast  done  priceless  service  to  the 

worlds ! 

To  creatures  of  all  sorts  thou  madest  many  offerings. 
Thou  gavest  thy  wife,  thy  son,  thy  daughter,  thy  body,  thy  kingdom, 

thy  life  I 

Strong  king  !  thou  didst  prefer  the  glory  of  blameless  deeds. 
Thou  who  art  Krishna,  Nimindara,  Nimi,  Brahmadatta,  Dharmachinti, 

etc.,  having  pondered  upon  the  aim  of  life,  thou  hast  abandoned  to 

mortals  things  difficult  to  abandon. 
Rishi  of  kings,  of  body  like  the  moon-god  (Chandra),  thy  march  is  over 

the  horizon  and  the  dust. 

King  of  Kasi  (Benares),  thou  proclaimest  the  peace  of  heaven. 
Long  hast  thou  seen  that  the  life  of  man  is  like  the  sands  of  the 

Ganges. 
In  pursuit  of  the  spiritual  knowledge  (Bodhi),  O  first  of  the  pure  !  thou 

hast  made  innumerable  offerings  to  the  Buddhas  : 
To  Amoghadarsi,  the  flowers  of  the  Sala-tree  ; 
To  Vairochana,  a  gentle  thought  ; 
To  Chandana,  a  torch  of  kusa-grass  ; 

1  Yearly  the  sun-god  as  the  zodiacal  horse  (Aries)  was  supposed  by  the 
Vedic  Aryans  to  die  to  save  all  flesh.     Hence  the  horse-sacrifice. 


54  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

To  Remi  thou  didst  fling  a  handful  of  gold-dust ! 

Didst  thou  not  encourage  Dharmesvara,  when  he  was  teaching  the  law, 
by  saying,  '  Well  ! ' 

Upon  beholding  Sarmantadarsi  thou  didst  cry,  '  Adoration  !  Adora 
tion  ! ' 

Thou  gavest  the  garb  of  the  Muni  to  Nagadatta ! 

To  Sakya  Muni 1  thou  gavest  a  handful  of  suvarnas  [pieces  of  gold]." 

"  By  these  gathas  the  prince  is  exhorted,"  says  the  narra 
tive.  And  whilst  the  Jinas  sing,  beautiful  women,  with  flowers 
and  perfumes,  and  jewels  and  rich  dresses,  try  to  incite  him 
to  mortal  love.  Again  the  music  of  the  immortals  breaks 
through  their  songs  : — 

"  Guide  of  the  world !  think  quickly  of  thy  resolve  to  appear  in  it  ; 
Make  no  delay ! 
In  the  old  times  a  precious  treasure,  gold,  silver,  and  ornaments,  were 

abandoned  by  thee. 

To  Bhaichadyaraja  thou  didst  offer  a  precious  parasol  ; 
Thou  gavest  thy  kingdom  to  Tagarasikhin  ; 
To  Mahapradipa  thou  didst  offer  thine  own  self ; 
To  Dipankara  a  blue  lotus  ; 

Remember  the  Buddhas  of  the  past,  their  teachings  and  thy  sacrifices. 
Contemn  not  poor  mortals  without  a  guide. 
When  thou  didst  see  Dipankara  thou  didst  acquire  the  Great  Patience 

and  the  five  transcendental  sacrifices  ! 
Then,   after  innumerable  kalpas,   in   all   parts   of  the   world,  having 

taken  delight  in  making  offerings  inconceivably  precious  to  all 

these  Buddhas, 
The  kalpas  have  rolled  away, 
The  Buddhas  have  gone  to  Nirvana, 
And  all  their  bodies,  that  once  belonged  to  thee,  and  even  their  names 

— Where  are  they  ? 

It  is  the  work  of  the  Law  of  Righteousness  to  put  an  end  to  the  aggre 
gations  of  matter. 

That  which  has  been  created  is  not  durable. 
Earthly  empire,  earthly  desire,  earthly  riches  are  as  a  dream. 
In  the  terminable  kalpas  of  the  world,  like  a  fire  that  burns  with  a 

fearful  light,  sickness,  age,  and  death  draw  near  with  their  tremors. 
The  Law  of  Righteousness  alone  can  put  an  end  to  substance.     What 

is  composite  is  not  durable. 
Look  at  the  unhappy  creatures  of  earth  ; 
Go  forth  into  the  world  !  " 

1  Much  of  this  is  plainly  esoteric  Buddhism.     The  inspirer  of  prophets, 
and  not  the  prophet  himself,  is  addressed. 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  55 

But  the  king  was  on  the  other  side. 

It  is  recorded  that  he  offered  to  resign  his  royal  umbrella 
in  favour  of  his  son.  His  urgent  entreaty  that  the  prince 
should  abandon  all  thoughts  of  a  religious  life  was  answered 
thus :— 

"Sire,  I  desire  four  gifts.  Grant  me  these,  and  I  will 
remain  in  the  Palace  of  Summer." 

'  What  are  they  ?  "  said  King  Suddodhana. 

"  Grant  that  age  may  never  seize  me.  Grant  that  I  may 
retain  the  bright  hues  of  youth.  Grant  that  sickness  may 
have  no  power  over  me.  Grant  that  my  life  may  be  without 
end."  1 

This  gives  us  the  very  essence  of  the  apologue.  Mara, 
the  tempter,  describes  the  story  in  a  sentence  :— 

"  This  is  a  son  of  King  Suddodhana,  who  has  left  his 
kingdom  to  obtain  deathless  life  [amrita]."  2 

About  this  time  Gopa  had  a  strange  dream.  She  beheld 
the  visible  world  with  its  mountains  upheaved  and  its  forests 
overturned.  The  sun  was  darkened,  the  moon  fell  from 
heaven.  Her  own  diadem  had  fallen  off  her  head,  and  all 
her  beautiful  pearl  necklaces  and  gold  chains  were  broken. 
Her  poor  hands  and  feet  were  cut  off;  and  the  diadem  and 
ornaments  of  her  husband  were  also  scattered  in  confusion 
upon  the  bed  where  they  were  both  lying.  In  the  darkness 
of  night  lurid  flames  came  forth  from  the  city,  and  the  gilded 
bars  that  had  been  recently  put  up  to  detain  the  prince  were 
snapped.  Afar  the  great  ocean  was  boiling  with  a  huge 
turmoil,  and  Mount  Meru  shook  to  its  very  foundations. 

She  consulted  her  husband  about  this  dream,  and  he  gave 
her  the  rather  obvious  interpretation  that  this  dismemberment 
of  her  mortal  body,  and  this  passing  away  of  the  visible 
universe  and  its  splendours,  was  of  good,  and  not  bad  augury- 
She  was  becoming  detached  from  the  seen,  the  organic ;  her 
inner  vision  was  opening.  She  had  seen  the  splendid  handle 
of  Buddha's  parasol  broken.  This  meant  that  in  a  short  time 
he  was  to  become  the  "  unique  parasol  of  the  world." 

But  to  bring  about  this  result  more  quickly,  the  Spirits  of 
1  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  192.  2  Ibid.,  p.  287. 


56  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  Pure  Abode  have  conceived  a  new  project.  The  beautiful 
women  of  the  zenana  are  the  main  seductions  of  Mara,  the 
tempter,  whom  philologists  prove  to  be  closely  connected  with 
Kama,  the  god  of  love.  The  Spirits  of  the  Pure  Abode  deter 
mine  that  the  prince  shall  see  these  women  in  a  new  light. 
By  a  subtle  influence  they  induce  him  to  visit  the  apartments 
of  the  women  at  the  moment  that  they,  the  Jinas,  have  put  all 
these  women  into  a  sound  sleep. 

Everything  is  in  disorder — the  clothes  of  the  women,  their 
hair,  their  trinkets.  Some  are  lolling  ungracefully  on 'couches, 
some  have  hideous  faces,  some  cough,  some  laugh  sillily  in 
their  dreams,  some  rave.  Also  deformities  and  blemishes 
that  female  art  had  been  careful  to  conceal  are  now  made 
prominent  by  the  superior  magic  of  the  spirits.  This  one  has 
a  discoloured  neck,  this  one  an  ill-formed  leg,  this  one  a 
clumsy  fat  arm.  Smiles  have  become  grins,  and  fascinations 
a  naked  hideousness.  Sprawling  on  couches  in  ungainly 
attitudes,  all  lie  amidst  their  tawdry  finery,  their  silent  tam 
bourines  and  lutes. 

"  Of  a  verity  I  am  in  a  graveyard ! "  said  the  prince,  in 
great  disgust. 

And  now  comes  an  incident  in  his  life  which  is  of  the 
highest  importance.  He  has  determined  to  leave  the  palace 
altogether.  "Then  Buddha  uncrossed  his  legs,  and  turning 
his  eyes  towards  the  eastern  horizon,  he  put  aside  the  precious 
trellis-work,  and  repaired  to  the  roof  of  the  palace.  Then 
joining  the  ten  fingers  of  his  hands,  he  thought  of  all  the 
Buddhas  and  rendered  homage  to  all  the  Buddhas,  and, 
looking  across  the  skies,  he  saw  the  Master  of  all  the  gods,  he 
of  the  ten  hundred  eyes"  (Dasasata  Nayana).  Plainly  he 
prayed  to  Indra.  The  Romantic  Life  also  retains  this 
incident,  but  it  omits  Indra,  and  makes  Buddha  pray  only  to 
all  the  Buddhas. 

At  the  moment  that  Buddha  joined  his  hands  in  homage 
towards  the  eastern  horizon,  the  star  Pushya,  which  had  pre 
sided  at  his  birth,  was  rising.  The  prince  on  seeing  it  said  to 
Chandaka — 

"  The  benediction  that  is  on  me  has  attained  its  perfection 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  57 

this  very  night     Give  me  at  once  the  king  of  horses  covered 
with  jewels  !  " 

"  Guide  of  men  ! "  said  the  poor  charioteer,  "  thou  knowest 
the  hour  and  the  commands  of  the  king.  The  great  gates  are 
shut." 

Buddha  persisted,  and  mounted  his  good  horse  Kantaka, 
The  gates  were  opened  by  the  heavenly  spirits.  And  through 
them  he  passed  out  of  the  debasing  palace  with  the  seven 
moats.  It  was  the  change  to  the  higher  life.  He  became 
a  yogi. 

The  Buddhist  movement  was  the  revolt  of  the  higher 
Brahminism  against  the  lower.  It  was  led  by  one  of  the  most 
searching  reformers  that  ever  appeared  upon  the  page  of 
history.  He  conceived  that  the  only  remedy  lay  in  awakening 
the  spiritual  life  of  the  individual.  The  bloody  sacrifice, 
caste,  the  costly  tank  pilgrimages,  must  be  swept  completely 
away. 

This  is  proved  by  a  very  valuable  Sutra,  the  "  Sutta 
Nipata,"  one  of  the  most  ancient  books  of  Ceylon. 

It  records  that  when  the  great  Muni  was  at  Sravasti 
(Sahet  Mahet),  certain  old  Brahmins  came  to  listen  to  his 
teaching.  They  asked  him  if  the  Brahmin  religion  (Brahmana 
Dharma)  was  the  same  as  in  ancient  days.  Buddha  replied 
that,  in  olden  time,  the  Brahmana  Dharma  was  completely 
different.  It  was  this  Dharma  that  he  proposed  to  restore 
in  its  original  purity.  The  points  of  difference  that  he  detailed 
were  these — 

i.  The  ancient  Brahmanas  were  simple  ascetics  (isayo), 
who  had  abandoned  the  "objects  of  the  five  senses." 

2.  They  ate  contentedly  the  food  that  was  placed  at  their 
door.     They  had  no  cattle,  or  gold,  or  corn.     The  gold  and 
corn  of  holy  dreaming  alone  was  theirs. 

3.  They   never   married    a   woman   of  another   caste,   or 
bought  wives.     The  most  rigid  continence  was  theirs.1 

4.  They  made   sacrifices  of   rice,  butter,   etc.,   and  never 

1  Fausboll  «  Sutta  Nipata,"  p.  49,  ver.  10.  It  was  not  clear  whether 
Buddha  means  that  marriage  was  quite  unknown  to  them.  The  verses 
are  contradictory. 


58  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

killed    the    cows,    the    best   friends   of  man,    the    givers    of 
medicines. 

5.  But  the  kings  of  the  earth  by-and-by  grew  powerful, 
and  had  palaces  and  chariots  and  jewelled  women. 

6.  Then  the  Brahmanas  grew  covetous  of  these  beautiful 
women    and   this   vast   wealth,  and  schemed    to   gain    both. 
They    instituted   costly   sacrifices,  the   horse  sacrifice  (assa- 
medha),  the    man  sacrifice    (purisa-medha),    and   other  rites. 
Through   these   they   obtained   costly  offerings — gold,   cows, 
beds,  garments,  jewelled  women,  bright  carpets,  palaces,  grain, 
chariots  drawn  by  fine  steeds. 

7.  "  Hundreds   of   thousands  of  cows "  were  slaughtered 
at  these  sacrifices — "  cows  that  like  goats  do  not  hurt  any  one 
with  their   feet  or  with  either  of  their  horns — tender  cows, 
yielding  vessels  of  milk. 

"  Seizing  them  by  the  horns,  the  king  caused  them  to  be 
slain  with  a  weapon." 

The  true  Dharma  being  lost,  the  world  plunged  into 
sensuality,  caste  disputes,  blood.  That  lost  Dharma  it  is  the 
mission  of  Buddha  to  hold  up  once  more  "  as  an  oil  lamp  in 
the  dark,  that  those  who  have  eyes  may  see."  ] 

1  now  come  to  another  piece  of  evidence.  The  "  Tevigga 
Sutta,"  or  "  Sutra,"  plainly  belongs  to  the  "  Little  Vehicle," 
and  shows  that  in  the  view  of  its  disciples  Buddha  proclaimed 
the  existence  of  an  intelligent  eternal  God. 

When  the  great  Tathagata  was  dwelling  at  Manasakata  in 
the  mango  grove,  some  Brahmins,  learned  in  the  three  Vedas, 
come  to  consult  him  on  the  question  of  union  with  the  eternal 
Brahma.  They  ask  if  they  are  in  the  right  pathway  towards 
that  union.  Buddha  replies  at  great  length.  He  suggests  an 
ideal  case.  He  supposes  that  a  man  has  fallen  in  love  with 
the  "  most  beautiful  woman  in  the  land."  Day  and  night  he 
dreams  of  her,  but  has  never  seen  her.  He  does  not  know 
whether  she  is  tall  or  short,  of  Brahmin  or  Sudra  caste,  of 
dark  or  fair  complexion  ;  he  does  not  even  know  her  name. 
The  Brahmins  are  asked  if  the  talk  of  that  man  about  that 
woman  be  wise  or  foolish.  They  confess  that  it  is  "  foolish 
1  "  Sutta  Nipata,"  p.  52. 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  59 

talk."  Buddha  then  applies  the  same  train  of  reasoning  to 
them.  The  Brahmins  versed  in  the  three  Vedas  are  made  to 
confess  that  they  have  never  seen  Brahma,  that  they  do  not 
know  whether  he  is  tall  or  short,  or  anything  about  him,  and 
that  all  their  talk  about  union  with  him  is  also  foolish  talk. 
They  are  mounting  a  crooked  staircase,  and  do  not  know 
whether  it  leads  to  a  mansion  or  a  precipice.  They  are 
standing  on  the  bank  of  a  river  and  calling  to  the  other  bank 
to  come  to  them. 

Now  it  seems  to  me  that  if  Buddha  were  the  uncom 
promising  teacher  of  atheism  that  Dr.  Rhys  Davids  pictures 
him,  he  has  at  this  point  an  admirable  opportunity  of  urging 
his  views.  The  Brahmins,  he  would  of  course  contend,  knew 
nothing  about  Brahma,  for  the  simple  reason  that  no  such 
being  as  Brahma  exists. 

But  this  is  exactly  the  line  that  Buddha  does  not  take. 
His  argument  is  that  the  Brahmins  knew  nothing  of  Brahma, 
because  Brahma  is  purely  spiritual,  and  they  are  purely 
materialistic. 

Five  "Veils,"  he  shows,  hide  Brahma  from  mortal  ken. 
These  are — 

1.  The  Veil  of  Lustful  Desire. 

2.  The  Veil  of  Malice. 

3.  The  Veil  of  Sloth  and  Idleness. 

4.  The  Veil  of  Pride  and  Self-righteousness. 

5.  The  Veil  of  Doubt. 

Buddha  then  goes  on  with  his  questionings : 

"  Is  Brahma  in  possession  of  wives  and  wealth  ?  " 

"  He  is  not,  Gautama,"  answers  Vasettha  the  Brahmin. 

"  Is  his  mind  full  of  anger,  or  free  from  anger  ?  " 

"  Free  from  anger,  Gautama." 

"  Is  his  mind  full  of  malice,  or  free  from  malice  ?  '• 

"  Free  from  malice,  Gautama." 

"  Is  his  mind  depraved  or  pure  ?  " 

"  It  is  pure,  Gautama." 

"  Has  he  self-mastery,  or  has  he  not  ?  " 

"  He  has,  Gautama." 

The  Brahmins  are  then  questioned  about  themselves. 


60  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Are  the  Brahmins  versed  in  the  three  Vedas,  in  possession 
of  wives  and  wealth,  or  are  they  not  ? " 

"  They  are,  Gautama." 

"  Have  they  anger  in  their  hearts,  or  have  they  not  ? " 

"  They  have,  Gautama." 

"  Do  they  bear  malice,  or  do  they  not?  " 

"  They  do,  Gautama." 

"  Are  they  pure  in  heart,  or  are  they  not  ?  " 

"  They  are  not,  Gautama." 

"  Have  they  self-mastery,  or  have  they  not  ?  " 

"  They  have  not,  Gautama." 

These  replies  provoke,  of  course,  the  very  obvious  retort 
that  no  point  of  union  can  be  found  between  such  dissimilar 
entities.  Brahma  is  free  from  malice,  sinless,  self-contained, 
so,  of  course,  it  is  only  the  sinless  that  can  hope  to  be  in 
harmony  with  him. 

Vasettha  then  puts  this  question  :  "  It  has  been  told  me, 
Gautama,  that  Sramana  Gautama  knows  the  way  to  the  state 
of  union  with  Brahma  ? " 

"  Brahma  I  know,  Vasettha,"  says  Buddha  in  reply,  "  and 
the  world  of  Brahma,  and  the  path  leading  to  it." 

The  humbled  Brahmins  learned  in  the  three  Vedas  then 
ask  Buddha  to  "  show  them  the  way  to  a  state  of  union  with 
Brahma." 

Buddha  replies  at  considerable  length,  drawing  a  sharp 
contrast  between  the  lower  Brahminism  and  the  higher  Brah- 
minism,  the  "householder"  and  the  "houseless  one."  The 
householder  Brahmins  are  gross,  sensual,  avaricious,  insincere. 
They  practice  for  lucre  black  magic,  fortune-telling,  cozenage. 
They  gain  the  ear  of  kings,  breed  wars,  predict  victories, 
sacrifice  life,  spoil  the  poor.  As  a  foil  to  this  he  paints  the 
recluse,  who  has  renounced  all  worldly  things,  and  is  pure, 
self-possessed,  happy. 

To  teach  this  "  higher  life,"  a  Tathagata  "  from  time  to 
time  is  born  into  the  world,  blessed  and  worthy,  abounding  in 
wisdom,  a  guide  to  erring  mortals."  He  sees  the  universe 
face  to  face,  the  spirit  world  of  Brahma  and  that  of  Mara  the 
tempter.  He  makes  his  knowledge  known  to  others.  The 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  6 1 

houseless  one,  instructed  by  him,  "  lets  his  mind  pervade  one 
quarter  of  the  world  with  thoughts  of  pity,  sympathy,  and 
equanimity  ;  and  so  the  second,  and  so  the  third,  and  so  the 
fourth.  And  thus  the  whole  wide  world,  above,  below,  around, 
and  everywhere,  does  he  continue  to  pervade  with  heart  of 
pity,  sympathy  and  equanimity,  far-reaching,  grown  great, 
and  beyond  measure."  l 

"  Verily  this,  Vasettha,  is  the  way  to  a  state  of  union  with 
Brahma,"  and  he  proceeds  to  announce  that  the  Bhikshu,  or 
Buddhist  beggar,  "  who  is  free  from  anger,  free  from  malice, 
pure  in  mind,  master  of  himself,  will,  after  death,  when  the 
body  is  dissolved,  become  united  with  Brahma."  The  Brah 
mins  at  once  see  the  full  force  of  this  teaching.  It  is  as  a 
conservative  in  their  eyes  that  Buddha  figures,  and  not  an 
innovator.  He  takes  the  side  of  the  ancient  spiritual  religion 
of  the  country  against  rapacious  innovators. 

"  Thou  hast  set  up  what  was  thrown  down,"  they  say  to 
him.  In  the  Burmese  Life  he  is  described  more  than  once  as 
one  who  has  set  the  overturned  chalice  once  more  upon  its 
base. 

An  extract  from  the  Mundaka  Upanishad  of  the  Atharva 
Veda  may  here  throw  a  light  on  Brahma  andjanion  with  him  : 
"  He  is  great  and  incomprehensible  by  the  senses,  and  con 
sequently   his   nature    is   beyond    human    conception.       He, 
though  more  subtle  than  vacuum  itself,  shines  in  various  ways. 
From  those  who  do  not  know  him  he  is  at  a  greater  distance 
than  the  limits  of  space,  and  to  those  who  acquire  a  know 
ledge  of  him  he  is   near  ;    and   whilst  residing   in    animate 
creatures  is  perceived,  although  obscurely,  by  those  who  apply 
their  thoughts  to  him.     He  is  not  perceptible  by  vision,  nor  is 
he  describable  by  means  of  speech,   neither  can   he  be  the 
object  of  any  of  the  organs  of  sense,  nor  can  he  be  conceived 
by  the  help   of  austerities  or  religious  rites  ;    but  a  person 
whose  mind  is  purified  by  the  light  of  true  knowledge  through 
incessant   contemplation  perceives  him  the  most  pure  God. 
Such  is  the  invisible  Supreme  Being.     He  should  be  seen  in 
the  heart  wherein  breath  consisting  of  five  species  rests.     The 
1  "Buddhist  Suttas,"  p.  201. 


62  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

mind  being  perfectly  freed  from  impurity,  God,  who  spreads 
over  the  mind  and  all  the  senses,  imparts  a  knowledge  of 
himself  to  the  heart."  l 

In  point  of  fact  the  language  of  the  Buddhist  mystic  is 
very  like  that  of  all  other  mystics.  Thomas  a  Kempis,  in  his 
"  Soliloquy  of  the  Soul,"  has  a  chapter  headed,  "  On  the  Union 
of  the  Soul  with  God."  2  Indeed,  all  the  Christian  mystics 
sought  this  "  union "  quite  as  earnestly  as  Buddha.  St. 
Theresa  had  her  oraison  d'union?  St.  Augustine  based  all 
his  mysticism  on  the  text  (John  xiv.  23),  "Jesus  answered 
and  said  unto  him,  If  a  man  love  Me,  he  will  keep  My  words  : 
and  My  Father  will  love  him,  and  We  will  come  unto  him, 
and  make  Our  abode  with  him."  4 

Clement  of  'Alexandria  sketches  the  end  to  be  kept  in 
view  by  the  "  Christian  Gnostic  :  "  "  Dwelling  with  the  Lord 
He  will  continue  His  familiar  friend,  sharing  the  same  hearth 
according  to  the  Spirit."  5 

Madame  Guyon  renewed  her  mystical  "  Marriage  with  the 
Child  Jesus  "  every  year. 

The  mystics  of  all  religions  sought  this  union  with  God 
by  means  of  extasia.  The  method  is  described  in  the  Persian 
Sharistan  and  the  Zerdusht  Afshar ;  and  the  processes  are 
completely  similar  to  those  of  the  Indian  yogi.  He  whom  the 
ancient  Persian  called  Izad,  and  the  modern  Persian  Allah,  is 
thus  described  by  Maulavi  Jami — 

"Thou  but  an  atom  art,  He,  the  Great  Whole.  But  if 
for  a  few  days  thou  meditate  with  care  on  the  Whole  thou 
becomest  one  with  it."  6 

Mr.  Vaughan,  in  his  "  Hours  with  the  Mystics,"  shows 
that  the  motto  of  the  Neo-Platonist  was,  "Withdraw  into 
thyself;  and  the  Adytum  of  thine  own  soul  will  reveal  to 
thee  profounder  secrets  than  the  cave  of  Mithras."  He 
asserts  that  a  mystic,  according  to  Dionysius  the  Areopagite, 
is  not  merely  a  sacred  personage  acquainted  with  the  doctrines, 

1  Rajah  Rammohun  Roy,  "  Translation  of  the  Veds,"  p.  36. 

2  Ch.  xiii.         3  Madame  Guyon,  "  Discours  Chretiens,"  vol.  ii.  p.  344. 
4  Cited  by  Madame  Guyon.  5  "  Misc.,"  p.  60. 

6  Olcott,  "Yoga  Philosophy,"  p.  271. 


THE   GREAT  RENUNCIATION.  63 

and  participator  in  the  rites  called  mysteries,  but  one  also 
who,  exactly  after  the  Neo-Platonist  pattern,  by  mortifying 
the  body  attains  the  "  divine  union."  x  Cornelius  Agrippa 
and  Behmen  held  the  same  views. 

I  may  mention,  as  an  interesting  fact,  that  catholic 
mysticism  has  very  nearly  the  same  terminology  as  Buddhism. 
Madame  Guyon  and  the  mystics  have  their  "  states  "  likewise, 
the  "  mystic  indifference,"  2  "  1'aneantissement,"  3  the  mystical 
"  death." 4  When  Buddha  was  performing  his  "  Dhyana,"  it 
is  said  that  the  "  Chakravala "  (visible  universe)  became 
invisible,  and  the  azure  domains  of  the  Buddhas  (the  spirit 
world)  "  luminous." 5  Madame  Guyon,  in  her  "  Moyen  Court," 
cites  Revelations  iii.  7,  8,  to  show  that  the  mystic  "  key  of 
David "  consists  in  "  shutting  the  eyes  of  the  body  and 
opening  the  eyes  of  the  soul."  6  Of  course  this  "  annihilation," 
this  "  death,"  this  "  indifference  "  only  refers  to  the  lower  life 
with  St.  Francois  de  Sales  and  Madame  Guyon.  And  I  think 
we  must  say  the  same  of  early  Buddhism. 

1  Vaughan,  vol.  i.  p.  22.         2  L.  Guerrier,  "  Madame  Guyon,"  p.  342. 

3  Ibid.,  p.  112.  4  Ibid.,  p.  116. 

5  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  267.  fi  "  Moyen  Court,"  p.  10. 


64  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER    VI. 

The  Nazarite-Mystical  and  Anti-mystical  Israel-Christ  usually  sup 
posed  to  have  belonged  to  the  latter— Position  combated— Early 
Persecution  of  Disciples. 

THE  NAZARITE. 

THE  theory  about  Christ  at  present  the  most  in  vogue  is 
based  upon  the  idea  that  He  accepted  the  religion  of  Israel  as 
interpreted  by  its  recognized  interpreters.  It  is  held  that 
when  He  declared  that  not  a  jot  or  tittle  of  the  Law  should 
be  relaxed  until  the  heavens  and  earth  shall  pass  away,  He 
alluded  to  the  Law  of  Moses  as  interpreted  by  the  dominant 
party.  His  life  in  consequence,  in  respect  to  customs,  con 
duct,  and  rites,  was  strictly  in  accordance  with  the  Mosaic 

edicts. 

Dr.  Lightfoot,  as  well  as  Baur,  and  Strauss,  and  Gibbon, 
holds  this  view.  The  latter  writers  lay  emphasis  on  the  fact 
that  He  announced  that  His  mission  was  to  be  confined  to 
the  house  of  Israel,  and  that  He  called  the  rest  of  the  world 
"  dogs."  Dr.  Lightfoot  expresses  practically  the  same  idea  ; 
for  he  says  that,  "  after  Christ's  death  the  Church  was  still 
confined  to  one  nation,"  and  that  "  the  Master  Himself  had 
left  no  express  instructions"  for  a  wider  propagandism. 
"  Emancipation,"  he  says,  from  the  "  swathing-bands  "  of  the 
Mosaic  ritual,  came  from  the  Apostles  "  under  the  guidance 
of  the  Holy  Spirit,"  l  the  doctor  failing  to  explain  why  in 
the  matter  of  institutions  that  God  Almighty  had  just  come 
on  earth  in  bodily  form  expressly  to  perpetuate  any  "  emanci 
pation,"  was  required. 

1  "  Commentary  on  Galatians,"  pp.  286,  287. 


THE  NAZARITE.  65 

But  will  this  theory  bear  scrutiny  ?  In  an  early  chapter 
of  St.  Matthew's  Gospel,  we  read  the  following  : — 

"  And,  behold,  there  was  a  man  which  had  his  hand 
withered.  And  they  asked  Him,  saying,  Is  it  lawful  to  heal 
on  the  sabbath  days  ?  that  they  might  accuse  Him.  And 
He  said  unto  them,  What  man  shall  there  be  among  you, 
that  shall  have  one  sheep,  and  if  it  fall  into  a  pit  on  the 
sabbath  day,  will  he  not  lay  hold  on  it,  and  lift  it  out  ?  How 
much  then  is  a  man  better  than  a  sheep  ?  Wherefore  it  is 
lawful  to  do  well  on  the  sabbath  days.  Then  saith  He  to  the 
man,  Stretch  forth  thine  hand.  And  he  stretched  it  forth  ; 
and  it  was  restored  whole,  like  as  the  other.  Then  the 
Pharisees  went  out,  and  held  a  council  against  Him,  how 
they  might  destroy  Him.  But  when  Jesus  knew  it,  He  with 
drew  Himself  from  thence :  and  great  multitudes  followed 
Him,  and  he  healed  them  all ;  And  charged  them  that  they 
should  not  make  Him  known"  (Matt.  xii.  10-16). 

This  is  from  Matt.  ix.  32-35— 

"  As  they  went  out,  behold,  they  brought  to  Him  a  dumb 
man  possessed  with  a  devil.  And  when  the  devil  was  cast 
out,  the  dumb  spake  :  and  the  multitudes  marvelled,  saying, 
It  was  never  so  seen  in  Israel.  But  the  Pharisees  said,  He 
casteth  out  devils  through  the  prince  of  the  devils.  And 
Jesus  went  about  all  the  cities  and  villages,  teaching  in  their 
synagogues,  and  preaching  the  gospel  of  the  kingdom,  and 
healing  every  sickness  and  every  disease  among  the  people." 

This  is  another  passage — 

"  They  answered  Him,  We  be  Abraham's  seed,  and  were 
never  in  bondage  to  any  man  :  how  sayest  Thou,  Ye  shall  be 
made  free?  Jesus  answered  them,  Verily,  verily,  I  say  unto 
you,  Whosoever  committeth  sin  is  the  servant  of  sin.  And 
the  servant  abideth  not  in  the  house  for  ever :  but  the  Son 
abideth  ever.  If  the  Son  therefore  shall  make  you  free,  ye 
shall  be  free  indeed.  I  know  that  ye  are  Abraham's  seed  ; 
but  ye  seek  to  kill  Me,  because  My  word  hath  no  place  in 
you.  I  speak  that  which  I  have  seen  with  My  Father  :  and 
ye  do  that  which  ye  have  seen  with  your  father.  They 
answered  and  said  unto  Him,  Abraham  is  our  father.  Jesus 

F 


66  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

saith  unto  them,  If  ye  were  Abraham's  children,  ye  would  do 
the  works  of  Abraham.     But  now  ye  seek  to  kill  Me,  a  man 
that  hath  told  you  the  truth,  which  I  have  heard  of  God  : 
did  not  Abraham"  (John  viii.  33~4o). 

It  will  be  seen  from  these  passages  that  the  Jews  s 
the  life  of  Jesus  on  the  following  charges  :— 

1.  Sabbath  breaking. 

2.  Demonology. 

3.  "Speaking  the  truth,"  or  assailing   the  views   of  the 

dominant  party. 

If  one  of  these  narratives  is  an  authentic  narrative,  it 
plain  that  the  theory  that  Jesus  was  a  strict  observer  of  the 
Law  of  Moses,  as  interpreted  by  the  dominant  party,  falls  to 

the  ground. 

I  come  to  a  still  more  striking  passage.  It  seems  to  me 
to  traverse  the  position  of  Bishop  Lightfoot,  who,  in  his 
"Commentary  on  the  Colossians,"  maintains  that  Christ 
attended  the  three  bloody  festivals  of  the  sacrificial  or  anti- 
mystical  Israel. 

"  And  the  Pharisees  also,  who  were  covetous,  heard  all 
these  things :  and  they  derided  Him.  And  He  said  unto 
them  Ye  are  they  which  justify  yourselves  before  men  ;  but 
God  knoweth  your  hearts  :  for  that  which  is  highly  esteemed 
among  men  is  abomination  in  the  sight  of  God.  The  Law 
and  the  prophets  were  until  John  :  since  that  time  the  king 
dom  of  God  is  preached,  and  every  man  presseth  into  it. 
And  it  is  easier  for  heaven  and  earth  to  pass,  than  one  tittle 
of  the  law  to  fail"  (Luke  xvi.  14-17)- 

This  passage  is  of  great  importance.  If  < 
uttered  the  speech  contained  in  it,  it  unmistakably  shows 
that,  far  from  considering  the  Mosaic  edicts  as  interpreted  by 
their  recognized  interpreters  binding  until  the  day  of  judg 
ment,  he  believed  them  to  have  been  annulled  by  John  the 
Baptist,  who,  according  to  Josephus,  was  put  to  death  to 
satisfy  the  priestly  party. 

Here  is  another  pregnant  passage— 

"And  He  came  to  Nazareth,  where  He  had  been  brought 
up  :  and,  as  His  custom  was,  He  went  into  the  synagogue  on 


THE  NAZARITE. 


the  sabbath  day,  and  stood  up  for  to  read.     And  there  was 
delivered  unto  Him  the  book  of  the  prophet  Esaias.     And 
when  He  had  opened  the  book,  He  found  the  place  where  it 
was  written,  The  Spirit  of  the  Lord  is  upon  Me,  because  He 
hath  anointed  Me  to  preach  the  gospel  to  the  poor  ;  He  hath 
sent  Me  to  heal  the  broken-hearted,  to  preach  deliverance  to 
the  captives,  and  recovering  of  sight  to  the  blind,  to  set  at 
liberty  them  that  are  bruised,  to  preach  the  acceptable  year 
of  the  Lord.     And  He  closed  the  book,  and  He  gave  it  again 
to  the  minister,  and   sat  down.     And  the   eyes  of  all  them 
that  were  in  the  synagogue  were  fastened  on  Him.     And  He 
began  to  say  unto  them,  This  day  is  this  scripture  fulfilled  in 
your  ears.     And  all  bare  Him  witness,  and  wondered  at  the 
gracious  words  which  proceeded  out  of  His    mouth.     And 
they  said,  Is  not  this  Joseph's  son  ?     And  He  said  unto  them, 
Ye  will   surely  say  unto    Me    this    proverb,   Physician,   heal 
Thyself:  whatsover  we  have  heard  done  in  Capernaum,  do 
also  here  in  Thy  country.     And   He  said,  Verily  I  say  unto 
you,  No  prophet  is  accepted  in  his  own  country.     But  I  tell 
you   of  a  truth,  many  widows  were  in  Israel  in  the  days  of 
Elias,  when   the  heaven  was    shut    up  three  years   and    six 
months,   when   great  famine  was  throughout    all    the    land  ; 
But  unto  none  of  them  was   Elias   sent,  save  unto  Sarepta, 
a  city  of  Sidon,  unto  a  woman  that  was  a  widow.      And  many 
lepers  were  in  Israel  in  the  time  of  Eliseus  the  prophet  ;  and 
none   of   them    was    cleansed,   saving    Naaman    the    Syrian. 
And  all  they  in  the  synagogue,  when  they  heard  these  things, 
were    filled  with   wrath,  and   rose   up,   and   thrust    Him    out 
of  the  city,  and  led  Him  unto  the  brow  of  the  hill  whereon 
their  city  was  built,  that  they  might  cast   him  down  head 
long.     But  He,  passing  through  the  midst  of  them,  went  His 
way,  and  came  down   to  Capernaum,  a  city  of  Galilee,  and 
taught  them  on  the  sabbath  days.      And  they  were  aston 
ished  at  His  doctrine  :  for  His  word  was  with  power  "  (Luke 
iv.  16-32). 

This  seems  of  the  greatest  importance.  Instead  of  be 
holding  soldiers  strike  down  their  most  prominent  champion 
by  reason  of  a  mistaken  password  —  a  necessary  inference  if 


68  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Christ  belonged  to  anti-mystical  Israel,— we  see  here  the  word 
"Messiah"  interpreted  by  two  sets  of  disputants  with  the 
utmost  precision.  Christ  says  that  he  is  "Messiah,"  or 
«  Anointed,"  in  the  sense  that  Isaiah  announces  that  he  also 
is  "Anointed."  He  is  the  "prophet,"  like  Elijah.  The  Spirit 
of  God  is  upon  Him  in  order  that  He  may  preach  the  gospel 
to  the  poor.  In  I  Kings  xix.  16,  we  find  also  that  Elisha 
was  anointed  as  Messiah.  The  word,  with  the  Jews,  meant  a 
prophet  as  well  as  a  king. 

The  action  of  anti-mystical  Israel  is  equally  intelligible. 
They  remember,  of  course,  that  it  is  laid  down  in  the  Tora 
(Lev    xviii.    20),    that  "the   prophet  who  shall  presume 
speak  a  word"  in  God's  name,  which  the  Almighty  has  not 
commanded  him  to  speak  must  die.     They  remember,  also, 
that  divination  (the  occultism  of  rivals)   is   also  (Lev.   xviii. 
10)  a  capital  offence.     And  if  Christ  had  really  pronounced 
that  the  Law  of  Moses  was  annulled,  the  scribes  and  doctors 
would  quickly  have  jumped  to  the  conclusion  that  a  prophet 
so   speaking  was  not  the  mouthpiece  of  Jehovah,  who  had 
positively  pronounced  that  the  law  and  covenant  was  an  ever 
lasting  covenant  (i   Chron.  xvi.  17;  Isa.  xxiv.  5)  ;  and  that 
-the  statutes,  and  ordinances,  and  the  law,  and  the  command 
ment  which   He  wrote,  was  to  be  observed   for  evermore " 

(2  Kings  xvii.  37). 

Another  instructive  group  of  facts  may  here  be  adduce 
the  circumstances  attending  the  death  of  Stephen. 

We  there  see  that  within  three  short  years  of  Christ's 
death,  there  was  a  vast  apparatus  of  persecution  actively  at 
work.  St.  Paul  tells  us  that  he  himself  persecuted  to  the 
"death;"  that  "entering  every  house  and  haling  men  and 
women/he  committed  them  to  prison."  He  shows  also  that 
this  vast  apparatus  of  "havock,"  and  "  threatenings  and 
slaughter,"  had  already  branches  in  Damascus  and  in  the 
provinces,  as  well  as  in  Jerusalem.  What  is  the  explanation 
of  this  ?  Certainly  Caiaphas,  who  denied  any  after-life,  could 
at  this  time  have  had  no  view  of  Christ's  Kingship  in  heavenly 
abodes  definite  enough  to  stir  up  all  this  activity.  The  ex 
planation  given  by  Dean  Howson  and  Mr.  Conybeare  appears 


THE  NAZARITE.  69 

the  true  one.  These  Christians  were  persecuted  not  because 
they  were  Christians,  but  because  they  were  Jews,  who  set 
the  Laws  of  Moses  at  defiance.  Was  not  this  the  charge 
against  Paul  as  late  as  his  last  visit  to  Jerusalem. 

"  And  when  the  seven  days  were  almost  ended,  the  Jews 
which  were  of  Asia,  when  they  saw  him  in  the  temple,  stirred 
up  all  the  people,  and  laid  hands  on  him,  crying  out,  Men 
of  Israel,  help :  this  is  the  man,  that  teacheth  all  men  every 
where  against  the  people,  and  the  law,  and  this  place  "  (Acts 
xxi.  27). 

As  I  go  on  I  shall  make  it  plain  that  from  the  very  earliest 
institution  of  the  disciples  the  Laws  of  Moses,  as  interpreted 
by  the  dominant  party,  were  systematically  violated.  From 
the  same  early  period  I  shall  make  it  also  plain  that  the 
recognized  interpreters  of  those  laws  sought  the  lives  of  Christ 
and  His  followers  for  capital  offences  against  Jerusalem  and 
the  Mosaic  edicts.  And  the  answer  of  the  Christians  from 
first  to  last  may  be  summed  up  in  the  words  of  Paul— 

"  Neither  against  the  law  of  the  Jews,  neither  against  the 
temple,  nor  yet  against  Csesar,  have  I  offended  anything  at 
all "  (Acts  xxv.  8). 

What  is  the  meaning  of  this  paradox  ?  Here  we  have  two 
sets  of  disputants,  both  of  a  nation  not  behind,  but  rather 
ahead  of  the  rest  of  the  world  in  acuteness,  reasoning  appa 
rently  with  the  inconsequence  of  a  nightmare.  The  position 
of  the  first  set  is  something  after  this  fashion.  Jehovah,  they 
say,  through  his  Prophet  Moses,  has  categorically  given  forth 
certain  edicts  for  the  avowed  object  of  making  the  Hebrew 
nation  an  ensample  to  the  other  nations  of  the  earth  for  ever 
and  ever.  Thus  it  has  been  ordained  that  every  male  shall 
come  up  to  Jerusalem,  the  capital  city,  for  the  three  great 
yearly  festivals.  Certain  rites  and  sacrifices  must  then  be 
gone  through  to  honour  God  and  enrich  the  priesthood.  It 
is  ordained  also  that  the  sabbath  day  shall  be  strictly  kept 
holy.  It  is  ordained  that  the  phenomena  of  supernaturalism, 
prophecy,  healing  by  exorcism,  etc.,  shall  not  be  practised 
except  under  the  supervision  of  the  recognized  priesthood. 
And  yet  the  rival  party  violate  these  plain  edicts,  not  inad- 


;Q  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

vertently,  upon  occasion  ;  but  perpetually,  on  system.  Plainly 
the  punishments  of  the  Laws  of  Moses,  whatever  their  rigour, 
must  everywhere  be  put  in  force  to  protect  the  religion  of 
Jehovah. 

To  all  this  the  second  party  make  one  plain  answer : 
"  Not  one  tittle  of  the  law  have  we  violated,  or  will  we  violate 
till  doomsday." 

Is  it  not  plain,  that  by  the  word  "  law,"  each  party  mean 
something  different. 

This  will,  I  think,  come  out  more  clearly  if  we  consider 
the  curious  way  in  which  another  section  of  the  Jews,  the 
Essenes  and  Therapeuts,  like  the  early  Christians,  professed 
to  be  extra  strict  followers  of  the  edicts  of  Moses,  and  yet 
violated  those  laws  at  every  turn. 

"  Our  law-giver,"  says  Philo,  "  trained  into  fellowship  great 
numbers  of  pupils  who  bear  the  name  of  Essenes,  being,  I 
imagine,  honoured  with  the  appellation  by  virtue  of  their 
holiness."  This  is  from  his  work,  "  Every  Virtuous  Man  is 
Free."  A  passage  from  another  work  of  his  leaves  us  in  no 
doubt  as  to  who  this  legislator  was  to  taken  to  be— 

"  I  will  set  in  contrast  the  entertainments  of  those  that 
have  consecrated  their  private  life  and  themselves  to  gnosis 
and  the  contemplation  of  the  affairs  of  Nature,  in  accordance 
with  the  most  sacred  guidance  of  the  Prophet  Moses  "  ("  Vit. 
Contempl.").  And  Josephus  does  not  hesitate  to  describe  these 
mystics  as  refusing  to  take  part  altogether  in  the  yearly  fes 
tivals  and  the  sacrifices  of  the  Mosaic  ritual  as  interpreted  by 
those  who  sat  in  Moses's  seat. 

"  They  perform  no  sacrifices  on  account  of  the  different 
rules  of  purity  which  they  observe.  Hence,  being  excluded 
from  the  common  sanctuary,  they  perform  sacred  rites  of  their 
own  "  ("  Antiq.,"  I,  2,  and  5).  That  the  Essenes  were  also  per 
secuted,  I  think  is  quite  plain.  Philo  talks  of  their  "  hiding- 
places,"  and  of  the  terrible  oaths  that  each  took  to  preserve 
the  secrets  of  the  order  "  in  the  presence  of  force  and  at  the 
hazard  of  his  life."  Josephus  alludes  to  the  terrible  tortures 
that  they  cheerfully  submitted  to,  rather  than  eat  of  things 
forbidden.  It  is  true  that  this  second  assertion  refers  to  them 


THE  NAZARITE.  Jl 

at  a  later  date  than  the  description  of  Philo  ;  but  Christ  tells 
us  that  from  the  date  of  Zacharius,  and  even  of  Abel,  mystical 
Israel  was  persecuted  from  city  to  city  at  the  blood-stained 
hands  of  the  Pharisees  and  Scribes  (Matt,  xxiii.  35). 

My  citations  from  Origen  and  the  "  Kabbalah,"  in  my  first 
chapter,  explain  in  part  the  crucial  issues  between  mystical 
and  anti-mystical  Israel. 

The  latter  party  said  practically:  We  have  a  book  of 
sacred  law,  and  that  law  must  be  interpreted  like  any  other 
legal  document,  or  immense  confusion  will  arise. 

The  mystics  replied  that  all  scriptures  are  written  by 
mystics  to  teach  mysticism,  and  a  book  must  be  judged  by 
the  canons  of  its  writers.  The  secret  wisdom  handed  down 
in  the  "  Kabbalah  "  taught  them  that  the  Tora  was  intended 
to  conceal  more  than  it  was  intended  to  reveal.  There  was 
a  knowledge  that  was  made  known  to  the  "  Chosen  of  God" 
after  painful  initiations.  It  was  called  the  "  Luminous  Mirror," 
in  contrast  with  the  "  Non-luminous  Mirror,"  the  vision  of 
ordinary  mortals.  It  was  called  the  "  Tree  of  Life,"  as  contra 
distinguished  from  the  "  Tree  of  Knowledge."  : 

"  Come  and  see  when  the  soul  reaches  that  place  which 
is  called  the  Treasury  of  Life — she  enjoys  a  bright  and  luminous 
mirror  which  receives  its  light  from  the  highest  heaven.  The 
soul  could  not  bear  this  light  but  for  the  luminous  mantle 
which  she  puts  on.  For  just  as  the  soul  when  sent  to  this 
earth  puts  on  an  earthly  garment  to  preserve  herself  here,  so 
she  receives  above  a  shining  garment  in  order  to  be  able  to 
look  without  injury  into  the  mirror  whose  light  proceeds 
from  the  Lord  of  Light.  Moses,  too,  could  not  approach  to 
look  into  that  higher  light  which  he  saw  without  putting 
on  such  an  ethereal  garment  as  it  is  written — '  And  Moses 
went  into  the  midst  of  the  cloud,'  which  is  translated  by 
means  of  the  cloud  wherewith  he  wrapped  himself  as  if  dressed 
in  a  garment.  At  that  time  Moses  almost  discarded  the 
whole  of  his  earthly  nature,  as  it  is  written — '  And  Moses  was 
on  the  mountain  forty  days  and  forty  nights.'  And  he  thus 
approached  that  dark  cloud  where  God  is  enthroned.  In  this 

1  Ginsburg,  «  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  37. 


72  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

wise  the  departed  spirits  of  the  righteous  dress  themselves  in 
the  upper  regions  in  luminous  garments,  to  be  able  to  endure 
that  light  which  streams  from  the  Lord  of  Light."  ] 

Origen  calls  this  luminous  mirror  the  "  soul "  of  the  scrip 
tures,  whereas  the  historical  part  is  "  body,"  is  intended  only 
for  minds  yet  in  darkness. 

Clement  of  Alexandria  also  held  that  there  was  a  twofold 
knowledge,  and  that  the  higher  knowledge  wjis_ imparted  by 
Christ  to  James,  Peter,  John,  and  Paul.    "  It  was  not  designed; 
for  the  multitude,  but  communicated  to  those  only  who  were  j 
capable  of  receiving  it  orally,  not  by  writing." f^ 

The  same  system  was  prominent  amongst  the  Essenes,  who 
expounded  their  "  hereditary  laws  "  every  seventh  day.  "  Then 
one  takes  the  books  and  reads,"  says  Philo  ;  "  and  another  of 
the  most  experienced  comes  forward  and  expounds  such 
things  as  are  not  well  known,  for  most  things  are  philo 
sophically  treated  among  them  through  symbols,  according 
to  the  old-fashioned  mode  of  pursuit." s 

Of  the  Therapeuts  he  writes  also :  "  For  they  read  the 
sacred  scriptures,  and  seek  after  wisdom  by  allegorical  expo 
sition  of  the  hereditary  philosophy,  inasmuch  as  they  regard 
what  constitutes  the  letter  of  each  utterance  as  the  symbol  of 
a  nature  that  is  withheld  from  sight  but  revealed  in  the  hidden 
meanings.  They  possess,  besides,  compositions  of  ancient 
men  who  were  the  founders  of  the  school,  and  bequeathed 
many  a  memorial  of  the  allegorical  manner  of  which  they 
avail  themselves  by  way  of  archetypes,  and  so  closely  follow 
the  method  of  the  original  school."  • 

Let  us  now  study  mystical  Israel  a  little  more  closely, 
beginning  with  the  Essenes  and  Therapeuts. 

i  Ginsburg,  "  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  38. 

Hr  z  See  "  Clement  of  Alexandria,"  by  Dr.  Kaye,  Bishop  of  Lincoln,  p.  241, 
3  "  Every  Virtuous  Man  is  Free."  4  Philo,  "  Vit.  Contempl." 


(    73     ) 


CHAPTER  VII. 

Mystical  Israel— Essenes  and  Therapeuts — Letter  of  Philo  to  Hephasstion 
— Therapeut  and  Buddhist  Monasteries— Points  of  Contact  between 
the  Buddhists  and  Israel  Mystical — The  Buddhist  and  Essene  Bap 
tism — The  Buddhist  and  Essene  Mysterium. 

MYSTICAL  ISRAEL. 

Neander  divides  Israel  at  the  date  of  Christ  into  three 
sections— 

1.  Phariseeism,  the  "dead  theology  of  the  letter." 

2.  Sadduceeism,  "  debasing  of  the  spiritual  life  into  world- 
liness." 

3.  Essenism,  Israel  mystical — a  "commingling  of  Judaism 
with  the  old  Oriental  theosophy." l 

Concerning  this  latter  section,  Philo  wrote  a  letter  to  a 
man  named  Hephaestion,  of  which  the  following  is  a  portion  :— 

"  I  am  sorry  to  find  you  saying  that  you  are  not  likely  to 
visit  Alexandria  again.  This  restless,  wicked  city  can  present, 
but  few  attractions,  I  grant,  to  a  lover  of  philosophic  quiet. 
But  I  cannot  commend  the  extreme  to  which  I  see  so  many 
hastening.  A  passion  for  ascetic  seclusion  is  becoming  daily 
more  prevalent  among  the  devout  and  the  thoughtful,  whether 
Jew  or  Gentile.  Yet  surely  the  attempt  to  combine  contem 
plation  and  action  should  not  be  so  soon  abandoned.  A  man 
ought  at  least  to  have  evinced  some  competency  for  the  dis 
charge  of  the  social  duties  before  he  abandons  them  for  the 
divine.  First  thejess,  then  the  greater. 

"  I  have  tried  the  life  of  the  recluse.     Solitude  brings  no 

1  Neander,   "  Life  of  Christ,"   vol.    i.    pp.   36-40 ;   also    "  History   of 
the  Christian  Religion,"  vol.  i.  p.  60. 


74  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

escape  from  spiritual  danger.  If  it  closes  some  avenues  of 
temptation, .there  are  few  in  whose  case  it  does  not  open  more. 
Yet  the  Therapeutae,  a  sect  similar  to  the  Essenes,  with  whom 
you  are  acquainted,  number  many  among  them  whose  lives 
are  truly  exemplary.  Their  cells  are  scattered  about  the 
region  bordering  on  the  farther  shore  of  the  Lake  Mareotis. 
The  members  of  either  sex  live  a  single  and  ascetic  life, 
spending  their  time  in  fasting  and  contemplation,  in  prayer 
or  reading.  They  believe  themselves  favoured  with  divine 
illumination — an  inner  light.  They  assemble  on  the  Sabbath 
for  worship,  and  listen  to  mystical  discourses  on  the  tradi 
tionary  lore  which  they  say  has  been  handed  down  in  secret 
among  themselves.  They  also  celebrate  solemn  dances  and 
processions  of  a  mystic  significance  by  moonlight  on  the 
shore  of  the  great  mere.  Sometimes,  on  an  occasion  of 
public  rejoicing,  the  margin  of  the  lake  on  our  side  will  be 
lit  with  a  fiery  chain  of  illuminations,  and  galleys,  hung  with 
lights,  row  to  and  fro  with  strains  of  music  sounding  over  the 
broad  water.  Tli2n  the  Therapeutae  are  all  hidden  in  their 
little  hermitages,  and  these  sights  and  sounds  of  the  world 
they  have  abandoned  make  them  withdraw  into  themselves 
and  pray. 

"  Their  principle  at  least  is  true.  The  soul  which  is  occu 
pied  with  things  above,  and  is  initiated  into  the  mysteries  of 
the  Lord,  cannot  but  account  the  body  evil,  and  even  hostile. 
The  soul  of  man  is  divine,  and  his  highest  wisdom  is  to 
become  as  much  as  possible  a  stranger  to  the  body  with  its 
embarrassing  appetites.  God  has  breathed  into  man  from 
heaven  a  portion  of  His  own  divinity.  That  which  is  divine 
is  invisible.  It  may  be  extended,  but  it  is  incapable  of  sepa 
ration.  Consider  how  vast  is  the  range  of  our  thought  over 
the  past  and  the  future,  the  heavens  and  the  earth.  This 
alliance  with  an  upper  world,  of  which  we  are  conscious, 
would  be  impossible,  were  not  the  soul  of  man  an  indivisible 
portion  of  that  divine  and  blessed  spirit.  Contemplation  of  the 
divine  essence  is  the  noblest  exercise  of  man  ;  it  is  the  only 
means  of  attaining  to  the  highest  truth  and  virtue,  and  therein 
to  behold  God  is  the  consummation  of  our  happiness  here. 


MYSTICAL   ISRAEL.  75 

"  The  confusion  of  tongues  at  the  building  of  the  tower  of 
Babel  should  teach  us  this  lesson.  The  heaven  those  vain 
builders  sought  to  reach,  signifies  symbolically  the  mind,  where 
dwell  divine  powers.  Their  futile  attempt  represents  the  pre 
sumption  of  those  who  place  sense  above  intelligence— who 
think  that  they  can  storm  the  Intelligible  by  the  Sensible. 
The  structure  which  such  impiety  would  raise  is  overthrown 
by  spiritual  tranquility.  In  calm  retirement  and  contempla 
tion  we  are  taught  that  we  know  like  only  by  like,  and  that 
the  foreign  and  lower  world  of  the  sensuous  and  the  practical 
may  not  intrude  into  the  lofty  region  of  divine  illumination." 

"  An  alliance  with  the  upper  world  "  was,  we  see  here,  the 
object  of  these  dreaming  Essenes.  This  in  India  is  called  yoga 
(union).  Was  there  any  connection  between  the  Indian  and 
Jewish  mystics  ? 

The  most  subtle  thinker  of  the  modern  English  Church, 
the  late  Dean  Mansel,  boldly  maintained  that  the  philosophy 
and  rites  of  the  Therapeuts  of  Alexandria  were  due  to 
Buddhist  missionaries  who  visited  Egypt  within  two  genera 
tions  of  the  time  of  Alexander  the  Great.  In  this  he  has 
been  supported  by  philosophers  of  the  calibre  of  Schclling 
and  Schopenhauer,  and  the  great  Sanskrit  authority,  Lassen. 
Renan,  in  his  work  "  Les  Langues  Semetiques,"  also  sees 
traces  of  this  Buddhist  propagandism  in  Palestine  before  the 
Christian  era.  Hilgenfeld,  Mutter,  Bohlcn,  King,  all  admit 
the  Buddhist  influence.  Colebrooke  saw  a  striking  similarity 
between  the  Buddhist  philosophy  and  that  of  the  Pytha 
goreans.  Dean  Milman  was  convinced  that  the  Therapeuts 
sprung  from  the  "  contemplative  and  indolent  fraternities  "  of 
India. 

Until  I  came  across  this  bird's-eye  view  of  a  rude  monas 
tery  in  Siam  (see  Plate  II.),  I  had  no  very  clear  idea  of  a 
monastery  of  the  Therapeuts  in  the  jungle  near  Alexandria. 
It  is  a  drawing  by  an  old  traveller,  given  to  us  by  Picart.  We 
see  the  house  of  assembly  in  the  centre,  where  the  Therapeuts, 
according  to  Philo,  assembled  every  Sabbath  for  religious  ser 
vices.  We  see  the  cells  of  the  monks  sprinkled  round  in  a 
rude  city  "  four-square."  Modern  India  gives  us  a  far  more 


76"  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

accurate  picture  than  we  can  get  elsewhere  of  ancient  Palestine, 
for  it  is  an  ancient  Asiatic  civilization  that  has  not  yet 
passed  away.  When  I  campaigned  against  a  rude  tribe  called 
Sonthals,  in  1855,  I  saw  everywhere  the  "booths  of  leaves"  of 
the  Bible,  the  pansil  of  early  Buddhist  books.  Since  the  days 
of  Job,  thieves  "dig  into"  the  rude  mud  walls  of  the  East. 
Visitors  to  the  Indian  and  Colonial  Exhibition  may  have 
seen  several  straw-thatched  houses  where  this  would  have 
been  feasible.  Of  such  a  pattern  with  mud  or  matted  walls 
were  the  huts,  perhaps,  of  the  Therapeuts. 

Father  La  Loubere,  in  his  "  Description  du  Royaume  de 
Siam," x  gives  us  some  very  interesting  details  of  Buddhist 
convent  life.  In  a  central  quadrangle  is  the  chief  building 
surrounded  by  mortuary  pyramidal  columns,  each  covering 
the  ashes  of  some  rich  man  or  saint,  but  dedicated  to  one  of 
the  Buddhas,  and  suggesting  the  columns  in  a  Christian  grave 
yard.  In  a  second  enclosure  are  the  little  mat-built  pansils 
of  the  monks,  surrounding  the  central  building.  Each  holds 
a  sramana  and  his  servant-pupils,  to  the  number  sometimes 
of  three.  Each,  too,  has  two  little  chambers  in  which  a 
wandering  beggar  can  obtain  food  and  shelter,  as  amongst 
the  Essenes.  "I  was  an  hungred,  and  ye  gave  me  no  meat: 
I  was  thirsty,  and  ye  gave  me  no  drink :  I  was  a  stranger, 
and  ye  took  me  not  in  ;  naked,  and  ye  clothed  me  not :  sick 
and  in  prison,  and  ye  visited  me  not "  (Matt.  xxv.). 

Each  monastery  is  presided  over  by  a  sancrat  or  bishop, 
whose  insignia  is  an  accurate  mitre,  carved  on  a  stone  pedestal, 
which  fact  satisfied  the  good  father  that  the  Buddhists  had 
stolen  many  ideas  from  the  Christians.  Matins  began  when 
a  monk  could  see  the  veins  of  his  hand,  or  see  clearly  enough 
to  prevent  him  destroying  reptile  life  in  walking  to  the  temple. 
The  chanting  went  on  for  two  hours,  and  then  the  begging 
friars,  two  and  two,  as  in  the  Catholic  Church,  went  round  the 
neighbourhood  and  collected  their  scanty  food.  The  meal 
seems  to  have  been  something  after  the  pattern  of  the  Thera- 
peut  bloodless  oblation,  for  a  portion  of  the  food  is  always 
solemnly  offered  to  Buddha.  Then  comes  teaching,  reading, 
1  Picart,  vol.  vii. 


MYSTICAL  ISRAEL.  77 

meditation  ;  and  then  what  the  father  calls  "  La  Meridiane," 
noon-day  prayers.  His  description  of  a  sermon  with  a  text 
taken  from  the  sayings  of  Buddha  is  most  interesting.  The 
monks  are  ranged  on  one  side  of  the  temple,  and  the  nuns  on 
the  other.  At  the  close,  they  say  solemnly,  "This  is  the 
Word  of  God  ! "  The  Catholic  father  cites  some  of  their 
texts  :  "Judge  not  thy  neighbour.  Say  not  this  man  is  good. 
This  man  is  wicked  ! "  This  seems  specially  to  have  struck 
him. 

Assisted    by  Philo,  let  us  draw  up  some  more  points  of 
contact  between  the  Therapeut  and  Buddhist  monks  : — 

1.  Enforced   vegetarianism,    community    of   goods,    rigid 
abstinence  from  sexual  indulgence,  also  a  high  standard  of 
purity,  were  common  to  both  the  Buddhists  and  the  Thera- 
peuts. 

2.  Neither  community  allowed  the  use  of  wine. 

3.  Both  were  strongly  opposed  to  the  blood  sacrifice  of 
the  old  priesthoods. 

4.  The    monks  of  both  communities   devoted   their  lives 
exclusively  to  the  acquirement  of  a  knowledge  of  God. 

5.  Long  fastings  were  common  to  both. 

6.  With  both  silence  was  a  special  spiritual  discipline. 

7.  The  Therapeut  left  "  for  ever,"  says  Philo,  "  brothers, 
children,    wives,  father,  and  mother,"  for   the   contemplative 
life.     This  is  Buddhism. 

8.  Like  the   Buddhists,  the  Therapeuts  had   nuns  vowed 
to  chastity.     These  were  quite  distinct,  as  Philo  points  out, 
from  the  vestals  of  the  Greek  temples.     With  the  latter  the 
chastity  was  enforced,  with  the  former  voluntary. 

9.  The  preacher  and  the  missionary,  two  original  ideas  of 
Buddhism,  were  conspicuous  amongst  the  Therapeuts.     This 
was  in  direct  antagonism  to  the  spirit  of  Mosaism. 

10.  The  Therapeut,  as  his  name  implies,  was  a  healer  (or 
"  curate "    as  Eusebius    calls    him)    of  body    and    soul.     The 
Buddhist   monks  are  the  only  physicians  in  most  Buddhist 
countries.     They  cure  by  simples,  and  by  casting  out  devils. 

11.  The  Therapeut  squatted  on  a  "mat  of  papyrus"  in 
his  sanctuary.     The  monks  "  took  their  seats  on  mats  covered 


78  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM 

with  white  calico,"  says    Mr.  Dickson,  describing  a   general 
confession  in  a  Buddhist  temple.1 

12.  The  Therapeuts  were  classed  as,  first,  presbyters 
(elders),  an  exact  equivalent  for  the  word  Arhat,  used  in 
Buddha's  day  for  his  fully  initiated  monks.  Under  the 
presbyter  was  the  deacon  (Staicovoe,  covered  with  dust  or 
dirt).  These  novices  were  servant-pupils,  the  servitor  friars 
(Samaneros)  of  Buddhism.  An  ephemereut,  or  temporary 
head,  presided  at  the  Therapeut  service  as  in  Buddhism. 
That  the  Christians  should  have  taken  over  this  ephemereut 
and  these  presbyters,  or  priests,  and  deacons,  as  their  three 
chief  officers,  is  perhaps  the  greatest  stumbling-block  in  the 
way  of  those  writers,  chiefly  English  and  clerical,  who  main 
tain  that  there  was  no  connection  between  Christianity  and 
mystic  Judaism. 

We  have  seen  from  Philo's  letter  to   Hephaestion  that  he 
considered  the  Therapeuts  the  same  as  the  Essenes.     Indeed 
in  another  work,  he  calls  the  Essenes,  "  Therapeuts  of  God. 
From  Josephus  we  get  some  additional  facts  relative  to  these 
mystics. 

1.  Enforced  vegetarianism  was  one  of  the  main  principles 
of  the  Essenes  as  well  as  of  the  Buddhists.     They  refused  to 
go  to  Jerusalem  to  the  temple  sacrifices  at  the  risk  of  being 
stoned. 

2.  The  Essenes  had    a  "  Sanhedrim  of  Justice "  like  the 
Buddhist  Sangha.     Excommunication  in  both  was  the  chief 
punishment.      This    was    altogether   foreign    to    the    lower 
Mosaism,  which  allowed  no  Jew  to  escape  the  obligations  of 
the  Jewish  law. 

3.  The  Essenes,  like  the  Buddhists,  forbade  slavery,  war, 
revenge,  avarice,  hatred,  worldly  longings,  etc. 

4.  Although  to  "face  towards  the  east"  and  "worship  the 
sun  towards  the  east "  is  one  of  the  "  abominations  "  of  Ezekiel, 
the  Essenes  were  not   allowed  to  speak  of  a  morning  until 
they  had  bowed  down  to  the  rising  sun.    The  sun  is  Buddha's 
special    emblem.     In    Wung    Puh's    Life,   he    is    called   the 
"  sublime  sun,  Buddha,  whose  widespread  rays  brighten  and 

1  "  Patimokkha,"  p.  2. 


MYSTICAL   ISRAEL.  79 

illumine  all  things."  In  the  same  volume  Buddha  is  reported 
to  have  said  that  "  bowing  to  the  east  was  the  pdramitd  of 
chanty." 

5.  The  Essenes,  like  the  Buddhist  monks,  had  ridiculous 
laws  relating  to  spitting  and  other  natural  acts,  those  of  the 
Essenes  being  regulated  by  a  superstitious  veneration  for  the 
Sabbath  day,  those  of  the  Buddhists,  by  a  superstitious  respect 
for  a  pagoda.1 

6.  In    Buddhist  monasteries    a   rigid    obedience,  together 
with  a  quite  superstitious  respect  for  the  person  of  a  superior, 
is  enacted.     In  Buddhagosa's  Parables  is  a  puerile  story  of  a 
malicious  Muni,  who,  when  an  inferior  monk  had  gone  out  of 
a  hut  where  the  two  were  sleeping,  lay  across  the  doorway  in 
order  to  make  the  novice  inadvertently  commit  the  great  sin 
of  placing  his  foot  above  his  superior's  head.     The  penalty  of 
such  an  act  is  that  the  offender's  head  ought  to  be  split  into 
seven   pieces.     With  the  Essenes    similar  superstitions  were 
rife.     If  an  Approacher  accidently  touched  the  hem  of  the 
garment  of  an  Associate,  all  sorts  of  purifications  had  to  be 
gone  through. 

7.  The  principle  of  thrift  and  unsavourincss  in  dress  was 
carried    to  extremes  by  both  Essenes   and  Buddhists.     The 
sramana    (ascetic)    was    required    to    stitch    together  for   his 
kowat  the  refuse  rags   acquired    by  begging.     The    Essenes 
were  expected  to  wear  the  old  clothes  of  their  co-religionists 
until  they  tumbled  to  pieces. 

In  the  Tibetan  "Life  of  Buddha,"  by  Rockhill,  it  is 
announced  that  when  the  great  teacher  first  cast  off  his  kingly 
silks  he  donned  a  foul  dress  that  had  been  previously  worn 
by  ten  other  saints.2  This  throws  light  on  the  story  of 
Elisha. 

Dr.  Ginsburg  ("The  Essenes,"  p.  13)  shows  that  the 
Essenes  had  eight  stages  of  progress  in  inner  or  spiritual 
knowledge. 

1.  Outward  or  bodily  purity  by  baptism. 

2.  The   state   of  purity  that   has    conquered    the   sexual 
desire. 

1  Beal,  "  Catena,"  pp.  236,  237.  2  Rockhill,  p.  26. 


80  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

3.  Inward  and  spiritual  purity. 

4.  A  meek  and  gentle  spirit  which  has  subdued  all  anger 
and  malice. 

5.  The  culminating  point  of  holiness. 

6.  The  body  becomes  the  temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  and 
the  mystic  acquires  the  gift  of  prophecy. 

7.  Miraculous  powers  of  healing,  and  of  raising  the  dead. 

8.  The  mystic  state  of  Elias. 

The  Buddhists  have  likewise  eight  stages  of  inner  progress, 
the  Eightfold  Holy  Path.  The  first  step,  "Those  who  have 
entered  the  stream,"  the  Nafraftjana,  the  mystic  river  of 
Buddha,  is  precisely  the  same  as  the  first  Essene  step.  Then 
follow  advances  in  purity,  holiness,  and  mastery  of  passion. 
In  the  last  two  stages,  the  Buddhists,  like  the  Essenes,  gained 
supernatural  powers,  to  be  used  in  miraculous  cures,  pro 
phecies,  and  other  occult  marvels.  It  must  be  mentioned  that 
the  Essenes  were  circumcised  as  well  as  the  other  Jews.1  ^ 

The  word  "  Essenes,"  according  to  some  learned  philolo 
gists,  means  the  "  Bathers  "  or  «  Baptisers,"  baptism  having 
been  their  initiatory  rite.  Josephus  tells  us  that  this  baptism 
was  not  administered  until  the  aspirant  had  remained  a  whole 
year  outside  the  community,  but  "subjected  to  their  rule 

of  life."  2 

I  will  here  give  the  rite  of  Buddhist  baptism  (abhisheka) 
when  a  novice  is  about  to  become  a  monk.  It  consists  of 
many  washings,  borrowed  plainly  by  the  early  Buddhists 
from  the  Brahmins,  and  brings  to  mind  the  frequent  use  of 
water  attributed  to  the  Hemero  Baptists  or  disciples  of  John. 
It  may  be  mentioned  that  in  some  Buddhist  countries,  Nepal 
for  instance,  the  various  monkish  vows  are  now  taken  only 
for  form  sake.  This  makes  the  letter,  retained  after  the 
spirit  has  departed,  all  the  more  valuable. 

The  neophyte  having  made  an  offer  of  scents  and  unguents 
(betel-nut,  paun,  etc.)  to  his  spiritual  guide  (guru),  the  latter, 
after  certain  formalities,  draws  four  circles  in  the  form  of  a 
cross  in  honour  of  the  Tri  Ratna  (trinity)  on  the  ground,  and 

1  See  Origen's  version  of  Josephus's  narrative. 

2  Josephus,  DeB.  J.  II.  8,2-13. 


MYSTICAL   ISRAEL.  8 1 

the  neophyte,  seated  in  a  prescribed  position,  recites  the 
following  text :  "  I  salute  Buddha-nath,  Dharma,  and  Sangha, 
and  entreat  them  to  bestow  upon  me  the  Parivrajya  Vrata." 
It  is  plain  here  that  the  prayer  is  addressed  to  the  transcen 
dental  triad.  The  first  and  second  day  of  the  ceremonial  are 
consumed  in  prayers  and  formalities  carried  on  by  the  guide 
and  his  pupil  alone  ;  on  the  second  day,  another  mystic  cross 
is  drawn  upon  the  ground,  called  the  "  Swastika  asan." 
A  pot  containing  water  and  other  mystic  ingredients,  a  gold 
lotus,  and  certain  confections  and  charms,  figures  conspicuously 
in  these  early  rites,  and  is  at  last  poured  on  the  neophyte's 
head.  This  is  the  baptism. 

The  abbot,  or  head  of  the  vihara,  now  appears  upon  the 
scene,  and  sprinkles  four  seers  of  rice  and  milk  upon  the  head 
of  the  aspirant.  This  ceremony  is  repeated  three  times. 
The  next  day,  a  barber  makes  a  clean  shave  of  the  neophyte's 
head,  leaving  only  the  forelock.  Previous  to  this,  the  latter 
has  pledged  himself  to  forsake  intoxicating  liquors,  women, 
evil  thoughts,  pride  ;  and  promised  not  to  injure  any  living 
creature.  More  washings  take  place,  including  a  fresh 
baptism  by  four  ecclesiastics  of  rank.  It  must  be  mentioned 
that  a  Buddhist  baptism  is  preceded  by  a  confession  of  sins 
and  much  catechising.  The  catechumen's  name  is  changed 
after  the  baptism.  He  promises  to  devote  his  future  life  to 
the  Divine  triad.  The  monks  of  rank  then  invoke  a  blessing 
on  his  head  :  "  May  you  be  as  happy  as  he  who  dwells  in 
the  hearts  of  all,  who  is  the  Universal  Soul,  the  Lord  of 
all,  the  Buddha  called  Ratna  Sambhava  !  " 

The  change  is  called  the  "  whole  birth ; "  and  at  one 
moment  a  light  is  kindled.  The  early  Christians  after 
initiation  were  called  the  "illuminati."  A  solemn  address 
is  made  to  the  triad  individually — Buddha,  whom  "gods  and 
men  alike  worship,"  who  is  apart  from  the  world,  "the 
quintessence  of  all  good  ; "  Dharma,  who  is  the  Prajna  Para- 
mita,  the  mother,  the  guide  to  perfect  wisdom  and  peace  ; 
and  Sangha,  the  son.  A  mitre  like  the  Mithraic  cap  is  put 
on  at  one  portion  of  the  ceremonial.  The  ceremonies  for 
Buddha's  new  birth  of  water  and  the  spirit  must  sound  hollow 

G 


82  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

indeed,  now  that  nothing  but  form  remains  ;  but  this  form 
to  an  inquirer  into  early  Buddhism  has  a  special  value. 

In  Tibet  this  baptism  also  exists.  In  Japan  that  excellent 
authority,  Mr.  Pfoundes,  tells  me  that  he  has  frequently  seen 
neophytes  being  baptized,  or  sprinkled  with  water  mixed 
with  aromatic  simples.  Mr.  Oung  Gyee  tells  me  that  baptism 
is  unknown  in  Southern  Buddhism,  although  in  Burmah  they 
sometimes  initiate  the  novice  at  the  bank  of  a  river,  without 
sprinkling.  This  last  seems  a  trace  of  it  as  having  once 
existed,  and  so  do  the  mighty  tanks  excavated  in  Ceylon. 
Wung  Puh  informs  us  that  at  "  Vaisali,  Buddha  resided  under 
a  tree  (the  music-tree),  and  there  delivered  a  sutra  entitled 
'  The  baptism  that  rescues  from  life  and  death,  and  confers 
salvation.' " 1 

The  other  great  rite  of  the  Essenes  was  what  the  mystical 
societies  of  the  era  of  Christ  called  the  "  Bloodless  Oblation." 
This  is  the  name  that  was  given  to  the  Christian  sacrament 
in  the  early  rituals.  According  to  Josephus,  this  rite,  like 
the  early  Christian  rite,  was  practically  the  daily  dinner.  To 
it,  "as  if  to  the  most  holy  precincts,"  the  monks,  bathed 
and  "purified,"  assembled.  Its  hour  was  the  fifth  hour 
after  sunrise.  White  garments  were  donned,  and  strangers 
and  catechumens  rigidly  excluded.  Philo,  speaking  of  the 
Therapeuts,  calls  it  "that  portion  of  the  mysteries  which  is 
most  transcendent."  He  compares,  also,  the  bread  used  to 
the  shew-bread  of  the  temple,  thus  explicitly  showing  that 
these  mysteries  were  the  Jewish  mysteries  niched  from 
an  exclusive  priesthood  and  given  to  the  people.  The  shew- 
bread,  literally  the  "  Bread  of  the  Faces,"  or  "  of  the  Presence," 
consisted  of  twelve  loaves,  which  denoted  the  "  presence  "  of 
Jehovah  himself,  under  his  twelve  mystical  faces  at  the  altar.2 

In  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  it  is  announced  that  those  who 
have  faith  will  become  sons  of  Buddha,  and  partake  of  "  the 
food  of  the  kingdom."  3  Four  things  draw  disciples  to  the 
Great  Banquet  of  Buddha — gifts,  soft  words,  production  of 

1  Journ.  As.  Soc.  vol.  xx.  p.  172. 

2  Smith's  "  Dictionary  of  the  Bible,"  sub  voce  "  Shew-bread." 

3  Foucaux,  p.  94. 


PLATE  III. 


OF    BUDDHA    AS   THK    RICE-CAKE 
Front  Atiiarni>ati. 


MYSTICAL   ISRAEL.  83 

benefits,  conformity  of  benefits.1  In  Buddhism,  the  chief  food 
of  the  ascetic,  the  rice  and  milk,  is,  by  an  intelligible  trope, 
called  the  amrita,  the  food  of  immortal  life  ;  and  Buddha's 
era  the  epoch  when  the  rice  and  milk  came  into  the  world. 
This  use  of  food,  and  especially  rice  and  milk,  as  a  symbol  of 
God,  existed  in  India  at  a  very  early  date.  The  main  rite 
of  the  Brahmins,  when  they  worshipped  in  a  temple  of  un 
hewn  upright  stones,  was  an  exhibition  of  the  birth  of  the 
Sisur  J  atari,  or  new-born  child.  "The  clarified  butter  is 
the  milk  of  the  woman,"  says  the  earliest  ritual,  the  "  Aitareya 
Brahmana,"  "the  husked  rice  grains  belong  to  the  male."..2 
This  symbol  of  food  was  perhaps  the  earliest  symbol  of  God. 
In  India,  at  certain  seasons,  it  is  made  up  into  little  idols  ; 
and  also  in  Tibet. 

In  many  of  the  early  Buddhist  sculptures,  groups  are  to 
be  seen  worshipping  a  large  wheaten  or  rice  cake,  as  big  and 
as  round  as  a  footstool.  Mr.  Pfoundes  tells  me  that  at  the 
time  of  the  new  year,  in  Japan,  he  has  seen  cakes  as  large  as 
this  on  the  Buddhist  altars.  I  copy  one  of  these  sculptures 
from  the  marbles  of  the  Amaravati  tope  at  the  British  Museum 
(see  Plate  III.).  I  am  certain  that  this  object  is  food.  I  saw 
in  the  South  Kensington  Museum,  on  a  miniature  chaitya 
from  Sanchi,  a  similar  object,  ranged  by  a  vase  and  covered 
with  a  cloth. 

The  details  of  this  mystic  Therapeut  dinner,  as  given  by 
Philo,  have  caused  Eusebius  and  a  long  line  of  Catholic 
writers  to  maintain  that  we  have  simply  a  description  of  the 
Christian  sacramentum,  a  Latin  form  of  the  Greek  word, 
/LLvcrrripiov,  or  "  mystery." 

In  the  main  building  of  the  convent  the  monks  and  nuns 
assembled,  being  separated  the  one  from  the  other  by  a  par 
tition.  After  the  chief  monk  had  read  some  passages  of  the 
sacred  writings  and  delivered  an  exhortation,  "  stretching  forth 
one  finger  of  his  right  hand  "  the  while,  the  presbyters  began 
to  sing  hymns  in  the  choir  and  also  at  various  "stations"  of 
the  building  (as  the  Rev.  Dom  Bernard  de  Montfaucon  trans 
lates  the  passage)  and  "  altars."  Whilst  the  ephemereut  sang, 
Foucaux.  p.  51.  2  Vol.  ii.  p.  5. 


84 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


the  rest  of  the  community  chanted  responses  in  a  solemn 
manner.  Then  a  "  table  "  was  brought  in  by  the  deacons, 
and  a  solemn  prayer  was  offered  up  to  God,  "  that  the  feast 
shall  be  agreeable  to  Him."  On  the  table  was  bread,  salt, 
and  hyssop  and  water,  "the  most  sacred  of  all  elements  in 
holiness." 

After  the  "  mysteries  "  of  this  holy  feast  had  been  gone 
through,  and  all  the  community  had  satisfied  hunger,  the 
monks  and  nuns  danced  together  under  some  strange  ecstatic 
influence  until  sunrise  the  next  morning.  This  dance  has 
puzzled  the  Roman  Catholic  commentators  before  alluded  to, 
but  some  of  them  find  records  of  religious  dances  in  the  early 
Church. 

This  description  of  the  assembly  in  the  hall  of  the  monas 
tery,  the  sermons,  the 
reading  of  the  holy 
books,  etc.,  is  purely 
Buddhist.  The  pro 
cessions  round  the 
shrines  of  the  temple 
is  a  marked  feature  of 
the  Buddhist  ritual, 
which  the  litany  in 
praise  of  the  seven 
Buddhas  and  similar 
rituals  were  designed 
specially  to  meet.  In 
all  Buddhist  temples 
the  priest  intones  and 
the  lower  monks  chant 
responses  —  the  Gre 
gorian  chant,  according 
to  Balfour's  "  Indian 
Cyclopaedia,"  being  a 
Buddhist  originality.1 
Mr.  Pfoundes  tells  me  that  in  Japan  and  China  the  hours 
of  feeding  and  the  customs  vary  amongst  different  sects. 

1  Sub  voce  "  Buddha." 


Fig.  7- 


-Tabernacle  for  the  Real  Presence 
of  Buddha. 


MYSTICAL   ISRAEL.  85 

Noonday  is  the  chief  meal,  and  each  monk  takes  his  portion 
from  the  common  mess,  and  usually  retires  to  his  own  hut,  or 
cell,  except  when  there  is  a  feast,  when  they  eat  together  in 
some  portion  of  the  temple,  not  the  sanctuary.  But  wherever 
they  eat,  a  portion  of  the  food  is  always  offered  to  Buddha  at 
a  little  miniature  altar.  The  Buddhists  have  a  little  tabernacle, 
like  the  Catholics,  for  the  Real  Presence  of  Buddha  on  the 
high  altar.  I  copy  one  from  the  French  Orientalist,  Langles.1 
He  affirms  that  the  sacred  elements  are  placed  inside,  but  this 
must  be  an  exception.  The  rice  and  the  scented  water  are 
placed  in  front  usually.  In  the  early  Christian  Church,  the 
sacramentum  was  called  the  "  giving,"  and  the  Greek  Church 
still  calls  the  sacred  bread  "  Corban."  2  "  Leave  there  thy  gift 
before  the  altar,"  said  Christ  (Matt.  v.  24),  alluding,  no  doubt, 
to  the  "  giving  "  of  the  Essenes.  The  "  Corban  "  of  the  Greek 
Church  has  twelve  impressions  of  the  cross,  thus  further  con 
necting  it  with  the  twelve  mystical  "faces"  of  the  Jewish 
shew-bread. 

1  "  Rituel  des  Tartares  Mantchous."  2  Picart,  iii.  189. 


86  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

BUDDHISM   AND    THE    "KABBALAH." 

IN  Philo's  letter  to  Hephaestion  we  have  seen  that  the 
Therapeuts  listened  every  sabbath  to  discourses  on  the 
traditionary  lore  which  was  handed  down  in  secret  amongst 
themselves.  Has  this  secret  lore  passed  away  from  the 
earth?  Scholars  of  the  calibre  of  Reuchlin,  Joel,  and  M. 
Franck,  of  the  Institute  of  France,  affirm  that  we  have  it  still 
in  the  "  Kabbalah."  This  word  implies  secret  tradition. 

The  legend  runs  that  this  secret  wisdom  was  first  taught 
by  Jehovah  to  the  seven  angels  that  stand  round  his  throne. 
It  was  then  handed  down  orally  through  the  seven  earthly 
messengers  (Adam,  Moses,  David,  etc.). 

Finally,  the  Rabbi  Simon  Ben  Jochai,  in  a  cavern  amid 
earth  rocking  and  supernatural  coruscations,  delivered  it  to 
the  world  in  a  "  Book  of  Splendour,"  the  "  Sohar." 

It  must  be  confessed,  however,  that  the  genuineness  of  the 
work,  the  "  Sohar,"  is  disputed.  Dr.  Ginsburg  affirms  that  it 
is  the  original  composition  of  a  Spanish  Jew,  named  Moses  de 
Leon,  who  lived  as  recently  as  the  fourteenth  century,  A.D. 
This  question  shall  be  discussed  later  on.  If  the  work  is 
a  forgery,  it  is  a  very  clever  forgery ;  for  on  its  appearance  in 
modern  times  it  wrought  quite  a  revolution  in  the  Jewish 
religion.  Philosophical  Jews,  who  had  been  unable  to  accept 
the  traditional  Christianity,  became  Christian  converts  in  large 
numbers  ;  and  Christians  felt  that  without  the  "  Kabbalah  "  it 
was  impossible  to  fully  understand  Christianity.  It  is  asserted 
by  Dr.  Ginsburg,  that  Reuchlin's  treatise  upon  the  "Kabbalah" 


THE  "KABBALAH."  8/ 

powerfully  influenced  the  early  reformers.1  It  produced  also 
an  illustrious  school  of  mystics.  Cornelius  Henry  Agrippa, 
John  Baptist  von  Helmont,  Robert  Fludd,  and  Raymond 
Lully,  developed  under  its  teaching. 

Assisted  by  Dr.  Ginsburg,  let  us  briefly  consider  its 
theosophy. 

Being  boundless  in  his  nature,  which  necessarily  implies 
that  he  is  an  absolute  unity  and  inscrutable,  and  there  is 
nothing  without  him,  or  that  the  TO  irav  is  in  him,  God  is 
EN  SOPH — Endless,  Boundless.  In  this  boundlessness,  or  as 
the  En  Soph,  he  cannot  be  comprehended  by  the  intellect  or 
described  in  words,  for  there  is  nothing  which  can  grasp  and 
depict  him  to  us  ;  and  as  such  he  is,  in  a  certain  sense,  non 
existent,  because,  as  far  as  our  minds  are  concerned,  that 
which  is  perfectly  incomprehensible  does  not  exist.  To  make 
his  existence  perceptible,  and  to  render  himself  compre 
hensible,  the  En  Soph,  or  the  Boundless,  had  to  become 
active  and  creative.  But  the  En  Soph  cannot  be  the  direct 
creator,  for  he  has  neither  will,  intention,  desire,  thought, 
language,  nor  action,  as  these  properties  imply  limit  and 
belong  to  finite  beings,  whereas  En  Soph  is  boundless. 
Besides,  the  imperfect  and  circumscribed  nature  of  the  creation 
precludes  the  idea  that  the  world  was  created  or  even  designed 
by  him,  who  can  have  no  will  nor  produce  anything  but  what 
is  like  himself,  boundless  and  perfect.  On  the  other  hand, 
again,  the  beautiful  design  displayed  in  the  mechanism,  the 
regular  order  manifested  in  the  preservation,  distinction,  and 
renewal  of  things,  forbid  us  to  regard  this  world  as  the  off 
spring  of  chance,  and  constrain  us  to  recognize  therein  an 
intelligent  design.  We  are  therefore  compelled  to  view  the 
En  Soph  as  the  creator  of  the  world  in  an  indirect  manner. 

Now,  the  medium  by  which  the  En  Soph  made  his  exist 
ence  known  in  the  creation  of  the  world,  are  ten  sephiroth 
or  intelligences?  which  emanated  from  the  Boundless  One  in 
the  following  manner :  At  first,  the  En  Soph,  or  Aged  of  the 
Aged,  or  the  Holy  Aged,  as  he  is  alternately  called,  sent  forth 

1  "  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  131. 

2  Translated  also  "  attributes,"  "  powers  " 


88  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

from  the  spiritual  light  one  spiritual  substance  or  intelligence. 
This  first  sephira,  which  existed  in  the  En  Soph  from  all 
eternity,  and  became  a  reality  by  a  mere  act,  has  no  less  than 
seven  appellations. 

I.  The  Crown,  because  it  occupies  the  highest  position. 

II.  The  Aged,  because  it  is  the  oldest,  or  the  first  emana 
tion. 

III.  The  Primordial  Point,  or  the  Smooth  Point,  because, 
as  the  "  Sohar "  tells  us,  "  When  the  Concealed  of  the  Con 
cealed  wished  to  reveal  himself,  he  first  made  a  single  point. 
The  infinite  was  entirely  unknown,  and  diffused  no  light 
before  this  luminous  point  violently  broke  through  into  vision" 
("Sohar"  L,  15  a). 

IV.  The  White  Head. 

V.  The  Long  Face,  Macro  prosopon,  because  the  whole  ten 
sephiroth  represent  the  primordial  or  heavenly  man,  of  which 
the  first  sephira  is  the  head. 

VI.  The  Inscrutable  Height,  because  it   is  the  highest  of 
all  the  sephiroth,  proceeding  immediately  from  the  En  Soph. 

VII.  Absolute  Being,  expressed  in  the  Bible  by  Ehejeh,  or 
/  am,  representing  the  infinite  as  distinguished  from  the  finite, 
and  in  the  angelic  order  by  the   celestial   beasts  of  Ezekiel, 
called   chajoth.      The    first   sephira  contains  the   other   nine 
sephira.     Plainly  it  is  En  Soph  reproduced. 

These  nine  sephiroth  are  as  follows  : — 

1.  Wisdom,  called  also  the  Father,  an  active  male  potency. 

2.  Intelligence,  called  also  the  Mother,  a  passive  or  female 
potency. 

It  is  from  the  union  of  these  two,  the  Ophanim  and  Arelim, 
that  the  other  seven  sephiroth  were  produced. 

3.  Love,  greatness. 

4.  Judgment,  justice,  strength. 

5.  Beauty. 

6.  Firmness. 

7.  Splendour. 

8.  Foundation. 

9.  Kingdom. 

Summed  up,  these  ten  sephiroth,  or  perfections,  were  the 


THE  "KABBALAH."  89 

perfections  of  the  heavenly  man,  God  imaged  as  the  seen 
universe,  and  as  a  man,  the  active,  the  conceivable  God. 

Now,  it  is  certainly  singular  that  this  complete  system  of 
theogony,  which  is  supposed  by  Dr.  Ginsburg  to  be  the 
original  composition  of  Moses  de  Leon,  a  Jew  who  died  in 
Spain,  A.D.  1305,  should  be  a  literal,  I  might  almost  say  a 
servile,  reproduction  in  terminology  as  well  as  idea  of  the 
theogony  of  the  Buddhists.  And  the  portion  that  Dr.  Gins- 
burg  considers  the  most  modern  and  spurious  part  of  the 
"  Kabbalah,"  namely,  that  of  En  Soph  and  the  ten  sephiroth,1 
happens  to  be  the  part  that  is  most  conspicuously  Buddhist 
in  every  detail. 

Buddha,  called  also  the  Swayambhu  (the  Self-Existent), 
Bhagavan  (God),  Adi  Buddha  (the  First  Intelligence),  etc., 
is  the  formless,  passionless,  inactive,  indefinable,  illimitable, 
being  that  the  "  Kabbalah  "  describes  under  the  title  En  Soph. 

"  Know  that  when  in  the  beginning  all  was  perfect  void 
and  the  five  elements  were  not,  then  Adi  Buddha,  the  stain 
less,  was  revealed  in  the  form  of  flame  and  light. 

"  He  is  without  parts,  shapeless,  self-sustained,  void  of 
pain  and  care  (Karanda  Vyuha)."  "  He  is  the  essence  of  all 
essences.  He  is  the  Vajra  atma  (Being  of  Adamant).  He  is 
the  instantly  produced  lord  of  the  Universe  (Nama  Sangiti)." 

Let  us  see  if  there  are  any  other  points  of  contact  between 
En  Soph  and  the  transcendental  Buddha. 

"The  Aged  of  the  Aged,"  says  the  "Sonar,"  "the  Unknown 
of  the  Unknown  has  a  form,  yet  has  no  form.  He  has  a 
form  whereby  the  universe  is  preserved,  and  yet  has  no  form, 
because  he  cannot  be  comprehended.  When  he  first  assumed 
the  form  (of  the  first  sephira)  he  caused  nine  splendid  lights 
to  emanate  from  it,  which,  shining  through  it,  diffused  a  bright 
light  in  all  directions.  Imagine  an  elevated  light  sending 
forth  its  rays  in  all  directions.  Now,  if  we  approach  it  to 
examine  the  rays,  we  understand  no  more  than  that  they 
emanate  from  the  said  light.  So  is  the  Holy  Aged  an 
absolute  light,  but  in  himself  concealed  and  incomprehen 
sible.  We  can  only  comprehend  him  through  those  luminous 
1  "  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  89. 


90  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM, 

emanations  which  again  are  partly  visible  and  partly  con 
cealed.  These  constitute  the  sacred  name  of  God."  * 

This  is  asserting  what  we  have  seen  written  down  of  the 
Primordial  Buddha,  that  he  is  "the  form  of  all  things  yet 
formless,"  and  that  he  was  "first  revealed  in  the  form  of 
light." 

A  favourite  Kabbalistic  simile  for  En  Soph  is  a  point 
or  dot. 

"  The  indivisible  point  who  has  no  limit,  and  who  cannot 
be  comprehended  because  of  his  purity  and  brightness,  ex 
panded  from  without  and  formed  a  brightness  which  served 
as  a  covering  to  the  indivisible  point.  Yet  it,  too,  could  not 
be  viewed  in  consequence  of  its  immeasurable  light.  It,  too, 
expanded  from  without,  and  this  expansion  was  its  garment. 
Thus  everything  originated  through  a  constant  upheaving 
agitation,  and  thus  finally  the  world  originated  "  ("  Sohar,"  I. 
20  a). 

Now  listen  to  the  Buddhists  :  "  He  whose  image  is  Sun- 
yata  (no  image),  who  is  like  a  cypher,  or  point,  infinite, 
unsustained  in  Nirvritti,  and  sustained  in  Pravritti,  whose 
essence  is  Nirvritti,  of  whom  all  things  are  forms,  and  who  is 
yet  formless,  who  is  the  Isvara  (God),  the  first  intellectual 
essence,  the  first  Buddha  was  revealed  by  his  own  will." 2 
I  will  proceed  to  show  that  the  Buddhists  have  ten  paramitas 
or  perfections  of  Buddha,  very  like  the  sephiroth  of  the  "  Kab 
balah." 

The  conventional  image  of  Buddha  is  that  of  an  ascetic 
seated,  with  his  eyes  closed  in  the  rapturous  trance  called 
Dhyani.  'Twas  thus  that  a  man  was  supposed  to  gain 
miraculous  powers.  The  rationale  of  this,  according  to 
modern  psychology,  is  that  it  is  possible,  by  a  species  of  self- 
mesmerism,  to  temporarily  detach  spirit  from  its  mortal 
envelope,  and  to  allow  it  to  put  forth  its  full  powers.  With 
such  ideas  current,  it  would  be  natural  to  image  God  by  the 
figure  of  a  man  in  Dhyani.  This  shows  us  the  full  force  of 
the  first  Buddhist  sephira  or  paramita.  The  first  Jewish 
sephira  represents,  as  we  have  seen,  "  absolute  being,"  "  the 
1  Ginsburg,  p.  15.  2  Cited  by  Hodgson,  p.  77. 


THE  "KABBALAH."  91 

infinite  as  distinguished  from  the  finite."  By  a  fiction,  it  is 
represented  as  the  one  sephira  that  had  been  in  existence 
from  all  eternity,  the  meaning,  of  course,  being  that  the 
heavenly  man  must  be  En  Soph  as  well  as  the  anthropo 
morphic  God.  This  first  Buddhist  paramita  is  Dhyani,  and 
this  seems  to  symbolize  this  truth  better  than  the  Jewish 
sephira. 

We  then  get  two  paramitas,  Upaya  and  Prajna,  which 
represent  the  fatherly  and  motherly  principles,  as  in  the 
"  Kabbalah." 

"  From  the  union  of  Upaya  and  Prajna,"  says  an  old 
Buddhist  book  cited  by  Mr.  Hodgson,  "  proceeded  the  world." l 

Prajna  is  the  exact  equivalent  of  the  Alexandrine  word 
Sophia — wisdom  imaged  as  a  woman.  Upaya  is  variously 
translated.  Its  literal  meaning  is  "  approach."  Burnouf 
renders  it  "  wish  "  or  "  prayer." 

Upaya-Prajna,  with  the  Buddhists,  is  a  conception  similar 
to  the  Ardha  Nari  (literally,  half  woman)  of  the  Brahmins — 
the  kosmos  imaged  as  a  bi-sexual  God.2 

"  The  Anointed  they  call  male-female,"  says  Cyril  of 
Jerusalem.3 

The  Karmikas  hold  that  Upaya  and  Prajna  parented 
Manas,  the  lord  of  the  senses,  and  that  he  produced  the 
tangible  virtues  and  vices.4 

There  are  three  major  and  seven  minor  sephiroth  in  the 
"  Kabbalah,"  as  Franck  shows.  The  seven  minor  paramitas 
are — 

1.  Charity  (Dana). 

2.  Morality  (Sila). 

3.  Patience  (Santi). 

4.  Industry  (Virya). 

5.  Fortitude  (Bala). 

6.  Foreknowledge  (Pranidhi). 

7.  Gnosis  (Jnana). 

But  if  we  are  to  accept  the  dictum  of  Dean  Mansel,  that 
Buddhist  missionaries  visited  Alexandria  within  two  genera- 

1  "Essays,"  p.  88.  2  See  Hodgson,  pp.  80,  81. 

3  Bk.  vi.  ii.  *  Hodgson,  p.  78. 


92  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

tions  of  the  time  of  Alexander  the  Great,  we  can  conceive 
that  such  missionaries  would  meet  with  one  crucial  difficulty. 
Prominent  amongst  Buddhist  teaching  would  be  the  doctrine 
of  Purusha,  the  heavenly  man,  and  prominent  amongst  the 
Buddhist  apparatus  of  worship  brought  from  India  would  be 
marble  and  bronze  statues  of  Purusha,  with  the  celebrated 
thirty-two  signs.  But  how  would  a  graven  image  be  received 
by  a  Jew  ?  Did  he  not  interpret  the  second  commandment 
as  forbidding  statues,  pictures,  all  art  ? 

The  answer  given  to  this  question  quite  proves,  I  think, 
the  genuineness  of  the  "  Kabbalah."  It  is  quite  impossible 
that  Moses  de  Leon,  A.D.  1300,  could  have  hit  upon  so  ingenious 
a  device,  because  it  is  quite  certain  that  in  his  day  the  ques 
tion  to  be  solved  could  not  have  been  appreciated  in  its  full 
force.  The  solution  was  twofold. 

1.  A  compromise  was  adopted  in  the  matter  of  the  second 
commandment.       Flat    representations,    pictures,    bas-reliefs 
were  permitted.     This  is  proved  from  the  many  Alexandrian 
talismans  and  incised  stones.     We  have  also  the  evidence  of 
the  catacombs,  modelled  as  Dean  Stanley  has  shown,  on  the 
sepulchral  crypts  and  rock  chapels  of  Palestine.     The  Greek 
Church  still  only  permits  "  flat  icons." 

2.  As    many   of   the   "  signs "    of    Purusha — fingers    like 
copper,  feet  flat,  and  figured  with  lotuses  and  swastikas,  head 
shaped  like  a  temple,  with  a  toran  at  the  top,  and   so  en- 
could  only  be  made  intelligible  by  sculpture,  it  was  resolved 
to  mix  up  the  signs  and  the  paramitas.     Thus,  the  sephiroths 
give  physical   qualities  as  well  as  moral,  in  that  they  differ 
from    the   paramitas.      The    heavenly   man    has    a   dazzling 
"  crown,"  "  splendour,"  "  beauty,"  "  white  hair,"  a  "  long  face," 
"  firmness,"  "  kingdom  " — all  these  are  symbols  of  Purusha. 

Sign  I.  His  head  has  for  crown  a  raised  knob.  It  is  con 
fessed  in  many  Buddhist  writings  that  the  conventional 
Buddha's  head  represents  a  chaitya  ;  so  this  raised  knob  is  the 
most  lofty  of  symbols.  It  is  the  toran,  the  heaven  of  the 
transcendental  Buddha. 

Sign  4.  Wool  (urna)  appears  between  his  eyebrows,  white 
as  snow  and  sparkling  like  silver. 


THE  "KABBALAH."  93 

Sign  17.  His  skin  glitters  like  burnished  gold. 

Sign  20.  His  trunk  is  firm  as  the  banyan  tree. 

Sign  31.  On  the  sole  of  each  foot  is  the  impress  of  the 
wheel  of  a  thousand  spokes.  This  is  the  symbol  of  "  king 
dom,"  of  universal  dominion.  No.  38  of  the  Minor  Signs 
announces  that  from  him  issues  a  pure  light  which  dispels  the 
darkness. 

I  will  cite  here  a  passage  from  the  first  chapter  of  the 
Apocalypse,  when  St.  John,  apparently  in  a  Christian  temple 
on  "  the  Lord's  day,"  hears  a  voice — 

"  And  I  turned  to  see  the  voice  that  spake  with  me.  And 
being  turned,  I  saw  seven  golden  candlesticks  ;  And  in  the 
midst  of  the  seven  candlesticks  one  like  unto  the  Son  of  man, 
clothed  with  a  garment  down  to  the  foot,  and  girt  about  the 
paps  with  a  golden  girdle.  His  head  and  his  hairs  were  white 
like  wool,  as  white  as  snow  ;  and  his  eyes  were  as  a  flame  of 
fire  ;  And  his  feet  like  unto  fine  brass,  as  if  they  burned  in  a 
furnace  ;  and  his  voice  as  the  sound  of  many  waters.  And 
he  had  in  his  right  hand  seven  stars :  and  out  of  his  mouth 
went  a  sharp  two-edged  sword  :  and  his  countenance  was  as 
the  sun  shineth  in  his  strength." 

The  hands  of  Buddha  are  said  to  be  "  like  copper,"  and 
the  feet  of  the  mystic  Alpha  and  Omega  are  "  like  brass." 
Do  both  descriptions  refer  to  the  conventional  effigies  of  each  ? 
Both,  too,  have  a  lambent  coruscation,  and  hair  like  white 
wool.  The  coincidence  is  remarkable.  The  Buddhist  initiate 
is  called  Arahat,  the  "Aged,"  the  "Venerable." 

Let  us  now  consider  the  arguments  brought  forward  to 
impugn  the  antiquity  of  the  "  Sohar." 

i.  The  wife  and  daughter  of  one  Moses  de  Leon,  who  died 
at  Arevelo,  in  Spain,  A.D.  1305,  positively  declared  that  the 
said  Moses  had  "  confessed  to  them  that  he  had  composed  the 
'  Sohar '  from  his  own  head,  and  that  he  wrote  it  with  his  own 
hand."  They  were  promised  by  a  rich  man,  named  Joseph 
de  Avila,  a  large  sum  of  money  if  they  could  produce  an 
ancient  manuscript  of  which  Moses  de  Leon  had  boasted. 
This  was  their  reply.1 

1  Ginsburg,  p.  91. 


94  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

2.  The  "  Sohar "   contains  whole  passages  translated  by 
Moses  de  Leon  from  his  other  works. 

3.  The   doctrine  of   En   Soph  and  the  ten  Sephiroth   is 
asserted  by  Dr.  Ginsburg  to  have  been  unknown   before  the 
thirteenth  century.     To  this  he  adds,  oddly  enough,  the  "  doc 
trine  of  metempsychosean  retribution." 

4.  The  "  Sohar  "  alludes  to  very  modern  events — a  "  comet 
that  appeared  in  Rome,  July  25,  1264;"  the  "Crusades  and 
Crusaders ; "  the  "  descendants   of  Ishmael,  or  the   Moham 
medans."     It  mystically  explains  the   Hebrew  vowel-points, 
which  were  unknown  before  A.D.   570.     It  steals  two  verses 
from  a  writer  who  was  not  born  until  A.D.  IO2I.1 

5.  A  fifth  objection  might  be  here  stated.     It  is  affirmed 
by  Franck  that  the  "Sohar"  is  written  in  a  Hebrew  that  is 
not  the  archaic  Hebrew  that  Rabbi  Ben  Jochai  would  have 
used.      It  is  a  form  of   Hebrew   known   to  scholars   as  the 
"  dialect  of  Jerusalem."     It  disappeared  about  the  sixth  cen 
tury  A.D.     This  form  of  Hebrew  is,  however,  utterly  unlike 
the  Hebrew  of  the  thirteenth  century. 

Now,  I  appeal  to  Dr.  Ginsburg.  Is  it  not  plain,  on  the 
very  surface,  that  these  objections  are  internecine  ?  A  scholar 
has  wit  enough  to  compose  a  work  that  contains  the  sub 
limated  essence  of  the  three  greatest  creeds  that  the  world 
has  seen — the  religions  of  Moses,  Buddha,  and  Christ.  With 
unrivalled  sympathy  and  insight,  he  can  put  forth  the  postu 
lates  of  the  higher  Christianity  in  such  a  manner  that  numbers 
of  Jews,  on  reading  the  work,  became  converts.  And  yet  the 
same  man  is  represented  as  being  dense  enough  to  clumsily 
allude  to  "  Crusaders,"  "  Roman  comets,"  "  Mohammedans," 
etc.  Are  not  these  rather  the  sort  of  accretions  that  come 
to  a  genuine  manuscript  after  a  long  voyage,  like  barnacles  to 
a  ship  ?  Then,  too,  if  this  unrivalled  scholar  is  capable  of  the 
unparalleled  feat  of  writing  reams  upon  reams  of  manuscript 
in  the  accurate  Hebrew  of  the  sixth  century  A.D.,  the  question 
arises,  why  did  he  select  the  sixth  century  Hebrew,  and  not 
the  Hebrew  of  some  ten,  or  at  least  five,  centuries  before  ? 
To  such  a  scholar  one  feat  would  have  been  as  easy  as  the 

1  Ginsburg,  "  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  85,  et  seq. 


THE  "KABBALAH: 


95 


other ;  and  his  cheat  required,  perforce,  the  most  archaic 
Hebrew  possible. 

I  think,  too,  that  his  alleged  citations  from  his  own  works 
are  capable  of  a  different  construction.  A  genius  of  the 
pattern  that  we  have  described  would  certainly  have  avoided 
so  clumsy  a  blunder ;  but  a  poor  cheat,  who  had  access  to  a 
secret  manuscript,  might  have  stolen  some  of  its  ideas  and 
found  himself  unable  to  conceal  his  theft.  Dr.  Ginsburg's 
theory  is  that  Moses  de  Leon,  for  the  hope  of  a  few  doubloons, 
worked  out  his  colossal  forgery  in  many  rambling  books. 
But  are  not  means  and  end  entirely  incommensurate  ?  At 
the  end  of  his  colossal  labour,  what  certainty  would  he  have 
of  any  doubloons  at  all  ?  Franck  accentuates  this  difficulty. 

He  points  out,  moreover,  that  the  Rabbi  Guedelia  affirmed 
that  Moses  ben  Nachman  found  the  manuscript  in  Palestine, 
and  sent  it  to  Spain,  where  Moses  de  Leon  saw  it. 

Franck  points  out  other  difficulties  in  the  way  of  the 
theory  that  the  "  Sohar  "  is  the  original  composition  of  Moses 
de  Leon. 

1.  There  is  no  trace  in  it  of  the  philosophy  of  Aristotle, 
so  rampant  in  the  thirteenth  century.1 

2.  There  is  no  trace  of  Christ  and  Christianity.2 

3.  An  examination  of  its  style,  want  of  unity,  etc.,  makes 
it  impossible  to  set  it  down  as  the  work  of  one  man.3 

4.  More  than   a   century  after   its   publication    in    Spain, 
certain  Jews  still  handed  down  the  bulk  of  the  ideas  contained 
in  it  by  oral  tradition.4 

5.  The  discovery  of  the  "  Codex  Nasarseus  "  sets  at  rest  the 
question  whether  the  ideas  and  philosophy  of  the  "  Sohar " 
were  in  existence  in  ancient  Palestine.5 

"But  why,"  says  Franck,  "should  we  glean  laboriously, 
a  few  scattered  hints  in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  and  in  the 
hymns  of  St.  Ephrem,  when  we  can  fill  our  hands  from  a 
monument  of  great  price  recently  published  in  a  Syriac  text, 
and  translated  by  a  learned  Orientalist.  We  speak  of  the 
'  Codex  Nasarseus,'  that  Bible  of  purely  oriental  gnosticism. 

1  See  Franck,  "  La  Kabbale,"  p.  93.  2  Ibid.,  p.  106. 

3  Ibid.,  p.  107.  4  Ibid.,  p.  123.  6  Ibid.,  p.  133. 


96  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

It  is  well  known  that  St.  Jerome  and  St.  Epiphanius  trace  up 
the  sect  of  the  Nazarenes  to  the  birth  of  Christianity.  Well, 
such  is  the  similarity  of  a  great  number  of  its  dogmas,  and 
the  most  essential  points  of  the  system  of  the  'Kabbalah/ 
that  in  reading  them  in  the  work  cited,  we  fancy  that  we  have 
come  across  a  stray  variorum  manuscript  of  the  '  Sohar.' 
God  always  figures  as  the  '  King'  and  the  '  Master'  of  *  Light' 
He  is  Himself  '  Pure  Splendour,'  the  '  Eternal  and  Infinite 
Light.'  He  is  'Beauty,'  'Life/  'Justice/  and  'Pity.'  From 
Him  emanate  all  forms  that  we  see  in  the  world.  He  is  the 
Creator  and  Artisan.  But  His  proper  wisdom  is  His  own 
essence.  None  know  them.  All  creatures  ask  each  other 
what  is  His  name,  and  are  compelled  to  reply  that  He  has 
none.  The  King  of  Light,  of  that  infinite  light  that  has  no 
name  that  can  be  evoked,  no  nature  that  can  be  known.  Only 
with  a  pure  heart  can  one  attain  to  that  light,  a  just  soul  and 
a  faith  abounding  in  love." 1 

"  The  gradation  by  which  the  Nazarene  teaching  descends 
from  the  Supreme  Being  to  the  extreme  limits  of  creation 
is  exactly  the  same  as  in  a  passage  of  the  '  Sohar '  already 
quoted  more  than  once  in  this  work.  The  djins,  the  kings 
and  the  creatures,  with  prayer  and  hymn  celebrate  the 
supreme  king  of  the  light  from  whom  issue  five  miraculous 
rays.  The  first  is  the  light  which  lights  every  being.  The 
second  is  the  soft  breath  of  life.  The  third  is  the  gentle 
voice  with  which  they  breathe  forth  their  gladness.  The 
fourth  is  the  word  which  instructs  them  and  trains  them  to 
bear  witness  to  the  faith.  The  fifth  is  the  type  of  all  the 
forms  under  which  they  develop,  as  fruits  grow  ripe  when 
warmed  by  the  sun."  2 

"It  is  impossible,"  pursues  the  French  scholar,  "not  to 
recognize  in  these  lines,  to  which  we  had  restricted  ourselves 
in  our  translation,  the  different  degrees  of  existence  set  forth 
by  the  Kabbalists  by  thought,  breath,  or  soul,  voice  or  the 
word.  Here  are  other  familiar  images  that  express  the  same 
idea — 

"  Before  all  creatures  was  the  Life.     It  was  hidden  within 

1  "Codex  Nas.,"  i.  p.  11.  2  Ibid.,  p.  9. 


THE  "KABBALAH."  97 

itself;  Life  eternal  and  incomprehensible,  without  light,  with 
out  form.  From  its  bosom  was  born  the  luminous  atmosphere 
(Ajar  zivo),  called  also  the  Word,  the  Garment,  or  the  sym 
bolical  river  which  represents  Wisdom.  From  this  river 
issue  the  living  waters  which  the  Nazarines  and  Kabbalists 
represent  as  the  third  manifestation  of  God.  It  is  intelli 
gence  or  spirit  which  in  its  turn  produces  the  second  life,  a 
conception  far  removed  from  the  first  This  second  life  is 
called  Juschamin,  the  region  of  forms,  of  ideas,  in  the  bosom 
of  which  was  conceived  first  of  all  the  idea  of  the  creation  of 
which  it  is  the  loftiest  and  purest  type.  The  second  life  by- 
and-by  parented  the  third  life,  also  called  the  Good  Father, 
the  Unknown  Old  Man,  the  Ancient  of  the  World.  The 
Good  Father  having  inspected  the  abyss,  the  darkness,  and 
the  black  waters,  left  there  his  image  which,  under  the  name 
of  Fetahil,  became  the  demiurge  or  architect  of  the  universe. 
Then  begins  an  interminable  series  of  aeons,  a  hierarchy  both 
infernal  and  celestial  which  has  no  further  interest  for  us. 
Sufficient  that  these  three  lives,  these  three  grades  in  the 
Pleroma  hold  the  same  position  as  the  three  Kabbalistic 
"  faces,"  whose  very  name  (farsufo)  is  found  in  the  language 
of  this  sect ;  and  we  can  be  the  more  confident  of  this  inter 
pretation  since  we  meet  with  them  also  the  ten  sephiroth 
divided  as  in  the  "  Sohar  "  into  three  superior  and  seven  inferior 
attributes.  As  the  singular  accident  that  caused  the  birth  of 
the  demiurge  and  the  generation  more  or  less  imperfect  of 
the  subaltern  spirits  they  are  the  mythological  expression 
of  this  idea,  also  very  clearly  laid  down  in  the  '  Codex  Nasa- 
rseus '  that  darkness  and  evil  are  nothing  more  than  the 
gradual  weakening  of  the  divine  light."  l 

Franck  holds  that  the  "  Sohar "  is  neither  borrowed  from 
Plato  nor  the  Alexandrian  school  of  Philo,  but  is  anterior  to 
both.2  The  question  of  the  profound  and  accurate  Buddhism 
of  the  work  has  not  been  touched  on.  In  the  almost  total 
paralysis  of  Oriental  studies  in  the  thirteenth  century  how 
could  a  Spaniard  know  all  about  the  ten  paramitas,  and  the 
thirty-two  lakshanas?  The  Portuguese  Ribeyro  as  late  as 

1  "  Codex  Nas.,"  p.  21 1.  2  Page  388. 

H 


98  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

1701   announces  in  his  "  History  of  Ceylon"  that  Buddha  is 
St.  Thomas. 

In  our  next  chapter  we  have  to  treat  of  a  very  important 
character,  whose  advent,  according  to  the  Christ  of  St.  Luke, 
put  an  end  to  the  law  and  the  prophets. 


(     99     ) 


CHAPTER  IX. 

The  Baptist — "  The  People  prepared  for  the  Lord  "—Were  they  Essenes  ? 
— 6  Nafapa?os — Nazarites  or  Sabeans — The  Book  of  Adam. 

THE  BAPTIST. 

I  WILL  write  down  a  few  texts  about  John— 

"  But  the  angel  said  unto  him,  Fear  not,  Zacharias  :  for 
thy  prayer  is  heard  ;  and  thy  wife  Elisabeth  shall  bear  thee 
a  son,  and  thou  shalt  call  his  name  John.  And  thou  shalt 
have  joy  and  gladness  ;  and  many  shall  rejoice  at  his  birth. 
For  he  shall  be  great  in  the  sight  of  the  Lord,  and  shall  drink 
neither  wine  nor  strong  drink ;  and  he  shall  be  filled  with  the 
Holy  Ghost,  even  from  his  mother's  womb.  And  many  of 
the  children  of  Israel  shall  he  turn  to  the  Lord  their  God. 
And  he  shall  go  before  Him  in  the  spirit  and  power  of  Elias, 
to  turn  the  hearts  of  the  fathers  to  the  children,  and  the  dis 
obedient  to  the  wisdom  of  the  just ;  to  make  ready  a  people 
prepared  for  the  Lord"  (Luke  i.  13-17). 

"  The  Word  of  God  came  unto  John  the  son  of  Zacharias 
in  the  wilderness.  And  he  came  into  all  the  country  about 
Jordan,  preaching  the  baptism  of  repentance  for  the  remission 
of  sins  ;  As  it  is  written  in  the  book  of  the  words  of  Esaias 
the  prophet,  saying,  The  voice  of  one  crying  in  the  wilderness, 
Prepare  ye  the  way  of  the  Lord,  make  His  paths  straight. 
Every  valley  shall  be  filled,  and  every  mountain  and  hill  shall 
be  brought  low  ;  and  the  crooked  shall  be  made  straight,  and 
the  rough  ways  shall  be  made  smooth ;  and  all  flesh  shall 
see  the  salvation  of  God.  Then  he  said  to  the  multitude 
['  Pharisees  and  Sadducees,'  according  to  Matthew]  that  came 
forth  to  be  baptized  of  him,  O  generation  of  vipers,  who  hath 


100  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

warned  you  to  flee  from  the  wrath  to  come?  Bring  forth 
therefore  fruits  worthy  of  repentance,  and  begin  not  to  say 
within  yourselves,  We  have  Abraham  to  our  father :  for  I  say 
unto  you,  That  God  is  able  of  these  stones  to  raise  up  children 
unto  Abraham.  And  now  also  the  axe  is  laid  unto  the  root 
of  the  trees  :  every  tree  therefore  which  bringeth  not  forth 
good  fruit  is  hewn  down,  and  cast  into  the  fire.  And  the 
people  asked  him,  saying,  What  shall  we  do  then?  He 
answereth  and  saith  unto  them,  He  that  hath  two  coats,  let 
him  impart  to  him  that  hath  none  ;  and  he  that  hath  meat, 
let  him  do  likewise.  Then  came  also  publicans  to  be  bap 
tized,  and  said  unto  him,  Master,  what  shall  we  do  ?  And  he 
said  unto  them,  Exact  no  more  than  that  which  is  appointed 
you.  And  the  soldiers  likewise  demanded  qf  him,  saying, 
And  what  shall  we  do  ?  And  he  said  unto  them,  Do  violence 
to  no  man,  neither  accuse  any  falsely ;  and  be  content  with 
your  wages"  (Luke  iii.  2-14). 

"And  all  the  people  that  heard  him,  and  the  publicans 
justified  God,  being  baptized  with  the  baptism  of  John.  But 
the  Pharisees  and  lawyers  rejected  the  counsel  of  God  against 
themselves,  being  not  baptized  of  him." 

"  For    I    say   unto    you,   Among   those    that   are  born   of 
women  there  is  not  a  greater  prophet  than  John  the  Baptist." 
"For  John   the   Baptist    came    neither    eating   bread    nor 
drinking  wine  ;  and  ye  say,  He  hath  a  devil." 

Now,  if  in  this  we  do  not  get  the  portrait  of  an  Essene,  it 
is  difficult  to  imagine  to  what  section  of  the  Jews  the  Baptist 
belonged.  He  used  the  rite  of  baptism  which  was  peculiar  to 
the  Essenes.  He  ordered  a  partition  of  clothes  and  neces 
saries.  He  abstained  from  wine  and  "soft  raiment."  He 
strongly  assailed  the  Pharisees  and  Sadducees,  that  is,  all 
Israel  except  the  Essenes.  They  rejected  his  baptism,  and 
accused  him  of  detnonology,  the  favourite  indictment  of 
anti-mystical  versus  mystical  Israel.  Moreover,  the  Baptist 
is  stated  to  have  reached  the  eighth  or  crowning  Essene  state 
of  spiritual  advancement,  the  "  spirit  and  power  of  Elias." 

Another  point  is  of  the  highest  importance.  The  scene 
of  his  ministry  was  the  stony  "wilderness,"  the  arid  moun- 


THE  BAPTIST.  IOI 

tain  region  that  stretches  from  Jerusalem  to  the  Quarantania 
mountain,  and  from  the  Quarantania  to  En-Gedi.  Now  this, 
according  to  Pliny  the  elder,  was  the  very  spot  where  the  bulk 
of  the  Essenes  was  to  be  found.  Their  numbers  in  his  day 
were  enormous.  Josephus  fixes  these  numbers  at  four  thou 
sand  souls.  We  learn  of  John,  too,  that  his  followers  were 
multitudes,  in  fact  a  whole  "  people  prepared  for  the  Lord." 

Thus,  on  the  hypothesis  that  John  was  not  an  Essene, 
there  must  have  been  two  large  groups  of  Israelites  inde 
pendently  dwelling  in  a  mountainous  waste  which  was  of  all 
spots  in  Palestine  the  least  fitted  for  the  sustenance  of  a 
crowd.  Both  were  using,  moreover,  the  same  rites.  How  is 
it  that  the  second  vast  group  has  been  completely  ignored  by 
the  writers  who  have  chronicled  the  deeds  of  John  and  his 
disciples  the  Nazarenes  ? 

But,  before  we  go  further,  we  must  consider  the  term 
Nazarene  or  Nazarite.  Christ,  in  the  inscription  on  the  cross, 
was  called  "The  Nazarite"  (6  Na^atoc,  Luke  iv.  31).  The 
Church  of  Jerusalem  was  called  the  Church  of  the  Nazarenes, 
or  Nazarites.  It  is  the  only  name  for  Christians  mentioned 
in  the  Acts.1  The  followers  of  John  the  Baptist  were  called 
Nazarites  or  Nazarenes,  and  they  still  exist  and  are  called 
Nazarenes  to  this  day.  The  Essenes,  according  to  Epipha- 
nius,  were  called  Nazarines  or  Nazoraeans.2 

Calmet's  Dictionary  makes  the  words  "  Nazarene "  and 
"  Nazarite  "  identical,  and  so  does  Tertullian.  Speaking  of 
the  Christians  he  says,  "  For  we  are  they  of  whom  it  is 
written,  Their  Nazarites  were  whiter  than  snow."  3 

The  Nazarite  in  old  Israel  was  the  prophet,  the  mystic. 
The  root  word  is  nazir,  and  it  signifies  "separation."  The 
true  Nazarite,  like  the  prophet  Samuel,  was  separated  to  the 
Lord  from  his  mother's  womb.  He  made  a  vow  to  let  his 
hair  grow  like  the  Indian  yogi.  He  made  a  vow  to  abstain 
from  wine.  This  vow,  in  the  case  of  the  real  Nazarite,  was 
for  life.  Jeremiah  (Lam.  iv.  7)  uses  the  word  as  synonymous 
with  the  prophets  of  Israel.  "  Her  Nazarites  were  purer  than 

1  Acts  xxiv.  5.  2  "  Adv.  Haer.,"  xi.  29. 

3  V.  Marcion,  cap.  viii.  p.  196. 


102  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

snow."  Amos  does  the  same  :  "  I  raised  up  of  your  sons  for 
prophets,  and  of  your  young  men  for  Nazarites"  (Amos  ii.  n). 

There  is  a  popular  theory  amongst  English  divines  that 
Christ  was  called  6  Na^wpaioz,  the  Nazarite,  or  as  we  translate 
it,  "Jesus  of  Nazareth,"  because,  according  to  Matthew  (ii.  23), 
he  stayed  for  a  short  time  at  Nazareth  with  his  parents  on 
his  return  from  Egypt  ;  but  Pilate,  in  writing  up  Christ's 
offence  upon  the  cross,  would  scarcely  have  taken  this  small 
event  of  His  life  into  consideration.  He  intended  most 
probably  to  write  up  that  Jesus  was  the  anointed  leader  of 
the  Nazarites.  So  fearful  was  the  importance  of  the  great 
mystical  movement  in  Palestine  in  the  view  of  the  dominant 
party,  that  all  devout  Jews  were  required  to  utter  the  following 
curse  three  times  a  day — 

"  Send  thy  curse,  O  God,  upon  the  Nazarenes."  J 

But  when  Israel  began  to  slaughter  prophets  instead  of 
listening  to  them,  the  Nazarite  from  a  reality  became  a  sham. 
The  form  remained,  and  it  was  customary  on  certain  occasions 
for  a  pious  Jew  to  let  his  hair  grow  and  to  abstain  from  wine 
for  a  week.  He  was  not,  of  course,  a  real  prophet.  The 
Tree  of  Deborah  with  its  mystical  dreams  had  been  cut  down 
by  the  priest. 

Let  us  examine  a  little  more  carefully  the  picture  of  the 
Nazarenes  given  to  us  in  the  recently  recovered  "Book  of 
Adam,"  which  Franck  considers  so  invaluable.  They  are  also 
called  Sabeans  and  Mandaites.  I  make  use  of  the  version  by 
Norberg,  translated  by  F.  Tempestini.  2 

The  Nazarenes,  or  Disciples  of  John,  believed  in  an  "  inert 
God,"  who  remained  quiescent  and  concealed  in  the  "  black 
waters."  He  is  also  called  the  Self-existent  (p.  71). 

They  divided  space  into  Fira  (ethereal  spirit  substance, 
the  Buthos  of  the  Gnostics)  and  Ayar  (the  Pleroma).  From 
the  inert  God  dwelling  in  Fira  emanated  Mana,  the  "  Lord  of 
Glory,"  the  "  King  of  Light,"  and  Youra,  the  "  Lord  of  Light." 
The  word  Mana  has  puzzled  Hebrew  scholars.  It  signifies 
a  "vase."  Is  it  an  accidental  circumstance  that  the  first 

1  Jerome,  cited  by  Riddle,  "  Christian  Antiquities,"  p.  135. 

2  Migne,  "  Diet,  des  Apocryphes,"  vol.  i.  p.  2. 


THE  BAPTIST.  1 03 

emanation  of  Adi  Buddha  is  called  Manas  in  India  ?  The 
Sanskrit  word  Manas  is  equivalent  to  the  Greek  word  Nous. 
The  divine  beings  Manas,  Mana,  and  Nous,  are  identical. 
They  represent  the  inert  God  in  his  active  form. 

The  Nazarenes  held  that  Mana  produced  millions  of 
Manas,  peopling  space  with  many  starry  systems,  and  Fira 
millions  of  Firas  and  Schekintas.  Schekinta  is  a  form  of 
the  word  Shechinah,  and  signifies  "divine  majesty  rendered 
present  and  living  with  men  "  (p.  69). 

"  All  these  stand  up  and  praise  Mana,  the  Lord  of  Glory, 
dwelling  in  Ayar." 

Important  amongst  the  creations  of  Mana;  the  Lord  of 
Glory,  was  a  heavenly  Jordan  planted  with  immortal  trees 
(p.  68).  This  Jordan  produced  millions  of  other  Jordans. 
For  the  benefit  of  the  "  Nazarenes  of  the  world  "  was  also 
instituted  the  great  "Baptism  of  Light,"  (pp.  39,  121),  called 
also  the  "  Baptism  of  the  First  Life  "  (p.  59),  the  various  pre 
sentments  of  God  being  likewise  called  the  "  First  Life,"  the 
"  Second  Life,"  and  so  on. 

It  is  recorded  in  the  "  Book  of  Adam "  that  Fetahil,  a 
subordinate  spirit  of  light,  formed  a  project  to  bridge  earth 
and  heaven  with  a  mighty  bridge.  In  this  he  was  opposed 
by  the  Touros,  the  giant  spirits  of  darkness  (p.  82).  The 
institution  of  the  Nazarenes  was  plainly  this  bridge.  They 
proposed  to  bring  a  "  Kingdom  of  Light  "  (p.  64)  down  to  the 
dull  dark  earth.  The  denizens  of  this  Kingdom  of  Light 
were  clothed  in  white,  like  the  Essenes  (p.  39).  They  were 
"  Apostles  of  Righteousness." 

They  had  the  "  seal  of  the  Father."  They  warred  with 
"  arms  not  made  of  steel."  They  were  "  the  Elect,"  the 
Illuminati.  To  the  humble  Nazarenes  it  was  given  to  know 
the  mysteries  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 

"  Revealer,  who  makest  known  the  inmost  secrets,  have 
mercy  on  us,"  says  one  of  their  invocations  (p.  63). 

I  will  write  down  a  few  texts  from  this  bible  of  pre- 
Christian  Christianity— 

"  Blessed  are  the  peaceful "  (p.  24). 

"  Blessed  are  the  just,  the  peacemakers,  and  the  faithful." 


104  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Blessed    are  the  peacemakers  that  abstain    from   evil " 

(P.  64). 

"  Desire  not  gold  nor  silver,  nor  the  riches  of  the  world. 
For  this  world  will  perish,  and  all  its  riches." 

"  Bow  not  down  to  Satan,  nor  to  idols  and  graven  images  " 

(p.  31). 

"  When  thou  makest  a  gift,  O  chosen  one,  seek  no  witness 
thereof  to  mar  thy  bounty.  He  who  collects  witnesses  of  his 
almsgiving  loses  his  merit.  Let  thy  right  hand  be  ignorant 
of  the  gifts  of  thy  left  "  (p.  32). 

"Feed  the  hungry,  give  drink  to  the  thirsty,  clothe  the 
naked  ;  for  he  who  gives  will  receive  abundantly"  (p.  32). 

"  Submit  yourselves  to  the  powers  "  (p.  66). 

Here  is  a  description  of  the  city  of  light  in  the  clouds — 

"  The  mercy  and  goodness  and  majesty  of  the  King  of 
Light  cannot  be  fathomed.  None  can  know  these  things 
save  the  life  that  is  within  thee,  and  the  spirits  and  messengers 
that  gird  thee  around. 

"  Thy  creatures  they  know  not  even  thy  name. 

"  The  kings  of  light  ask  one  another,  What  is  the  name  of 
the  Great  Light  ?  They  answer,  He  has  no  name. 

"  His  throne  is  stable,  like  the  throne  of  the  Most  High. 
It  is  stablished  from  generation  to  generation. 

"  No  poor  sculptor  of  earth  has  fashioned  this  throne. 
The  palace  of  the  king  was  not  built  up  by  earthly  masons. 
Immovable  he  dwells  in  a  city  of  diamonds,  a  city  without 
discord  and  broils. 

"  In  that  city  are  no  butchers,  nor  gluttons  surcharged 
with  meat.  It  knows  not  the  wine  of  wantonness  nor  the 
songs  of  riot. 

"  Its  vesture  is  spotless,  and  its  crown  eternal.  The  tears 
of  weeping  women  disturb  it  not. 

"  No  corpses  are  seen  in  its  streets,  nor  war,  nor  warriors. 
The  King  of  Light  gives  of  his  own  pure  joy  to  all  his 
children. 

"  Monarch  of  angels  and  kings,  wearing  upon  his  brow 
a  mighty  crown,  he  rules  every  being  by  his  sweetness  and 
power  "  (p.  26). 


THE  BAPTIST.  IO5 

This  is  how  the  Nazarenes  attacked  orthodox  Mosaism— 

"  Then  will  appear  that  ignoble  nation  which  will  slaughter 
fat  offerings  and  make  God's  sanctuary  swim  in  blood.  It 
will  commit  wicked  acts  and  call  itself  the  People  of  the 
House  of  Israel  It  will  circumcise  with  a  bloody  sword,  and 
smear  its  face  and  lips  with  gore.  Its  sons  will  burn  with 
infamous  lust,  perverting  the  faith.  I  say  to  the  chosen  ones, 
My  disciples,  peacemakers,  and  faithful,  who  live  in  these 
days,  follow  not  their  example.  Shun  their  feasts  and  avoid 
their  drinks;  marry  not  their  daughters.  A  generation  of 
slaves  and  adulterers,  instead  of  honouring  the  Most  High, 
they  will  discard  Moses,  the  prophet  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  who 
gave  them  the  Law,  and  dishonour  Abraham,  that  other 
prophet  of  God.  .  .  . 

"  I,  the  first  of  Apostles,  tell  all  the  sons  of  Adam  who 
have  been,  or  will  be,  born  into  the  world,  shun  the  speech  of 
these  angels  of  apostasy.  They  are  able  to  render  apostate 
the  sons  of  men,  creating  the  pride  of  gold  and  silver,  of 
treasure  and  possessions,  the  lust  of  false  appearances,  and 
illusive  shows. 

"  Their  sons  will  take  up  arms  and  engage  in  the  agonies 
of  strife.  They  will  say,  fear  us,  adore  us,  set  up  altars  in 
our  midst.  They  will  wear  the  cloak  of  hypocrisy,  and  make 
a  pretence  of  fasting  and  of  deeds  of  bounty.  .  .  . 

"  Put  on  your  stoles  and  white  garments,  O  peacemakers, 
symbols  of  the  water  of  life.  Put  on  your  heads  white  crowns, 
like  the  crowns  of  glory  of  heaven's  angels.  .  .  . 

"  You  who  are  peacemakers  say  not,  This  is  hidden,  and 
this  is  unknown.  Say  not  that  to  the  Most  High  alone  is 
known  the  mysteries.  He  has  revealed  them  to  you.  Take 
up  arms  not  of  steel,  but  of  more  worthy  metal,  the  weapons 
of  faith  and  justice,  the  weapons  of  the  Nazarene  "  (pp.  54,  55). 

The  following  passages  throw  some  light  on  the  rites  of 
the  peacemakers  : — 

"  Listen  to  my  words,  O  chosen  ones.  Observe  the  great 
fast,  that  fast  which  contemns  the  food  and  drink  of  this 
mortal  world. 

"When  thou  eatest,  or  drinkest,  or  sleepest,  or  restest,  in 


106  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

all  things  strive  to  exalt  the  Name  of  the  great  King  of  Light, 
and  hasten  to  the  Jordan  to  receive  His  baptism." 

"  Give  bread,  water,  and  a  home,  to  him  who  is  tormented 
by  the  tyranny  of  persecution  "  (p.  35). 

"  Assemble  the  faithful.  Read  to  them  the  scriptures. 
Pray  to  the  Lord  for  His  mercy,  that  His  splendour  may  go 
before  and  his  light  follow  after.  Say  to  the  chosen  ones  the 
soft  words  that  I  have  spoken  to  thee,  and  give  them  the 
hymn  that  I  have  inspired"  (p.  35). 


CHAPTER  X. 

Jesus  and  the  Baptist — Great  importance  of  the  Baptism  of  Jesus — Initia 
tion  of  Early  Christians — Buddha's  Baptism,  Fasting,  and  Temp 
tation. 

JESUS   AND   THE   BAPTIST. 

WE  now  come  to  the  adult  Jesus.  The  first  prominent 
fact  of  His  life  is  His  baptism  by  John.  If  John  was  an 
Essene  the  full  meaning  of  this  may  be  learnt  from  Josephus — 
"  To  one  that  aims  at  entering  their  sect,  admission  is  not 
immediate  ;  but  he  remains  a  whole  year  outside  it,  and  is 
subjected  to  their  rule  of  life,  being  invested  with  an  axe,  the 
girdle  aforesaid,  and  a  white  garment.  Provided  that  over 
this  space  of  time  he  has  given  proof  of  his  perseverance,  he 
approaches  nearer  to  this  course  of  life,  and  partakes  of  the 
holier  waters  of  cleansing ;  but  he  is  not  admitted  to  their 
community  of  life.  Following  the  proof  of  his  strength  of 
control,  his  moral  conduct  is  tested  for  two  years  more  ;  and 
when  he  has  made  clear  his  worthiness,  he  is  thus  adjudged 
to  be  of  their  number.  But  before  he  touches  the  common 
meal,  he  pledges  to  them,  in  oaths  to  make  one  shudder, 
first  that  he  will  reverence  the  Divine  Being,  and,  secondly, 
that  he  will  abide  in  justice  unto  men,  and  will  injure  no  one, 
either  of  his  own  accord  or  by  command,  but  will  always 
detest  the  iniquitous,  and  strive  on  the  side  of  the  righteous  ; 
that  he  will  ever  show  fidelity  to  all,  and  most  of  all  to  those 
who  are  in  power,  for  to  no  one  comes  rule  without  God  ;  and 
that,  if  he  become  a  ruler  himself,  he  will  never  carry  inso 
lence  into  his  authority,  or  outshine  those  placed  under  him 
by  dress  or  any  superior  adornment  ;  that  he  will  always  love 
truth,  and  press  forward  to  convict  those  that  tell  lies ;  that 


108  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

he  will  keep  his  hands  from  peculation,  and  his  soul  pure  from 
unholy  gain  ;  that  he  will  neither  conceal  anything  from  the 
brethren  of  his  order,  nor  babble  to  others  any  of  their  secrets, 
even  though  in  the  presence  of  force,  and  at  the  hazard  of  his 
life.  In  addition  to  all  this,  they  take  oath  not  to  communi 
cate  the  doctrines  to  any  one  in  any  other  way  than  as 
imparted  to  themselves ;  to  abstain  from  robbery,  and  to  keep 
close,  with  equal  care,  the  books  of  their  sect  and  the  names 
of  the  angels.  Such  are  the  oaths  by  which  they  receive 
those  that  join  them  "  (Josephus,  De  B.  J.,  II.  8,  2,  13). 

As  a  pendant  to  this,  I  will  give  the  early  Christian 
initiation  from  the  Clementine  "  Homilies." 

"  If  any  one  having  been  tested  is  found  worthy,  then 
hand  over  to  him  according  to  the  initiation  of  Moses,  by 
which  he  delivered  his  books  to  the  Seventy  who  succeeded 
to  his  chair." 

These  books  are  only  to  be  delivered  to  "  one  who  is  good 
and  religious,  and  who  wishes  to  teach,  and  who  is  circumcised 
and  faithful." 

"Wherefore  let  him  be  proved  not  less  than  six  years, 
and  then,  according  to  the  initiation  of  Moses,  he  (the  initiator) 
should  bring  him  to  a  river  or  fountain,  which  is  living  water, 
where  the  regeneration  of  the  righteous  takes  place."  The 
novice  then  calls  to  witness  heaven,  earth,  water,  and  air,  that 
he  will  keep  secret  the  teachings  of  these  holy  books,  and 
guard  them  from  falling  into  profane  hands,  under  the  penalty 
of  becoming  "  accursed,  living  and  dying,  and  being  punished 
with  everlasting  punishment." 

"  After  this  let  him  partake  of  bread  and  salt  with  him 
who  commits  them  to  him."  1 

Now  if,  as  is  so  widely  believed  in  England,  the  chief 
object  of  Christ's  mission  was  to  stablish  for  ever  the 
Mosaism  of  the  bloody  altar,  and  combat  the  main  teaching 
of  the  aaicrjrfc,  or  mystic,  which  "  postulates  the  false  principle 
of  the  malignity  of  matter,"  why  did  He  go  to  an  ao-jajr//? 
to  be  baptized  ?  Whether  or  not  Christ  belonged  to  mystical 
Israel,  there  can  be  no  discussion  about  the  Baptist.  He  was 

1  Clem.,  "  Homilies,"  ch.  3,  4,  5. 


JESUS  AND  THE  BAPTIST.  109 

a  Nazarite  "separated  from  his  mother's  womb,"  who  had  in 
duced  a  whole  "  people  "  to  come  out  to  the  desert  and  adopt 
the  Essene  rites  and  their  community  of  goods.  And  we  see, 
from  a  comparison  of  the  Essene  and  early  Christian  initia 
tions,  what  such  baptism  carried  with  it.  It  implied  pre 
liminary  instruction  and  vows  of  implicit  obedience  to  the 
instructor. 

Continuing  our  parallelism  between  the  lives  of  Christ 
and  Buddha,  we  will  now  show  that  he,  too,  had  his  baptism, 
fasting,  and  temptation.  We  will  turn  to  the  Buddhist 
narrative,  which  may  here  throw  light  on  the  Christian 
account. 

The  first  temptation  of  Buddha  was  at  the  great  gate  of 
the  Palace  of  Summer.  Suddenly  Mara,  the  very  wicked 
one,  appeared  in  the  air  and  called  out  to  the  prince — 

"  Prince  Siddharta,  do  not  lead  the  life  of  a  yogi.  In  seven 
days'  time  you  shall  be  a  universal  monarch,  ruling  the  four 
great  continents.  Return  to  the  palace." 

Buddha  refused  nobly ;  but,  by  the  magic  influence  of  the 
wicked  one,  he  harboured  a  strong  inclination  to  look  once 
more  on  the  city  of  his  father.  He  combated  this  fancy ;  when 
lo,  and  behold,  by  a  mighty  miracle,  Mara  the  tempter  caused 
the  earth  to  pivot  round  "  like  the  wheel  of  a  potter."  Sud 
denly  the  sad  eyes  of  Buddha  fell  on  the  tall  towers  and 
brilliant  lamps  of  the  great  city  sleeping  in  the  moonlight. 
The  young  man  hesitated,  and  then  rode  on  1  in  the  direction 
of  Vaisali. 

In  the  morning  he  reached  the  Anoma  (modern  Aumi) 
River  below  Sangrampura.  At  this  point  the  god  Indra, 
disguised  as  a  hunter,  induced  him  to  take  off  his  emeralds 
and  silks  and  put  on  a  hermit's  dress.  The  prince  cut  off 
his  flowing  locks  with  his  own  sword.  He  sent  back  the 
charioteer  and  the  good  horse  Kantaka.  Each  of  these  in 
cidents  was  afterwards  commemorated  by  a  chaitya  at  the 
spot.  They  meant,  of  course,  that  Buddha's  guru,  personify 
ing  Indra,  had  made  Buddha  go  through  the  customary 
initiation,  the  tonsure,  vows  of  poverty,  etc. 

1  Bigandet,  "  Burmese  Life,"  p.  65. 


HO  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Leaving  the  Anoma,  which  is  a  branch  of  the  modern 
Raptee,  the  prince  made  his  first  real  halt  at  Vaisali  (the 
modern  Besarh),  a  spot  about  twenty  miles  north  of  Patna. 
Here  he  found  a  number  of  yogis  undergoing  their  initiation 
in  yoga-vidya,  or  white  magic,  in  a  forest. 

In  this  wood,  Buddha  commenced  what  the  "  Lalita  Vis- 
tara  "  calls  the  "  ecstatic  meditation  on  Brahma  and  his  world." 
But  to  obtain  yoga,  or  the  mystic  union  with  Brahma,  the 
novice  must  become  a  servant-pupil  of  some  eminent  adept 
(Brahmajnani).  At  Vaisali  was  a  holy  man,  Arata  Kalama, 
and  Buddha  said  to  him,  "  By  thee,  O  Arata  Kalama,  must  I 
be  initiated  into  the  condition  of  a  seeker  of  Brahma  (Brahma- 
charin)." 

For  six  years  Buddha  sat  cross-legged,  seeking  to  obtain 
the  visions  of  the  higher  Buddhism  and  the  magical  faculties 
which  by  all  old  mystics  were  considered  a  guarantee  that 
the  visions  were  genuine.  He  stopped  his  respiration,  says 
the  narrative,  and  got  to  eat  only  one  grain  of  the  jujube-tree 
per  diem. 

These  practices  began  by-and-by  to  reduce  the  prince  to 
a  mere  mass  of  dried  skin  and  bone.  The  villagers  thought 
he  was  dying.  In  the  Chinese  version  it  is  recorded  that  he 
fasted  forty-seven  days  and  nights  without  taking  an  atom 
of  food.  When  he  was  in  these  straits,  Mara  appeared  before 
him  with  a  second  temptation.  He  urged  him  to  save  his 
life  by  breaking  his  long  fast  and  eating  food— 

"  Sweet  creature,"  said  the  tempter,  in  dulcet  tones,  "  you 
are  at  the  hour  of  death.  Sacrifice  food,  and  eat  a  portion  of 
it  to  save  your  life." 

The  reply  of  Buddha  is  a  fine  one — 

"  Death,  demon,  is  the  inevitable  end  of  life.  Why  should 
I  dream  of  avoiding  death  ?  Who  falls  in  battle  is  noble. 
Who  is  conquered  is  as  good  as  dead.  Demon,  soon  I  shall 
triumph  over  thee.  Lust  is  thy  first  army,  ennui  thy  second, 
hunger  and  thirst  are  thy  third  army.  Passions  and  idleness 
and  fear  and  rage  and  hypocrisy  are  amongst  thy  soldiers, 
backbitings,  flatteries,  false  renown, — these  are  thy  inky  allies, 
soldiers  of  a  chief  whose  doom  is  near." 


JESUS  AND    THE  BAPTIST.  1 1 1 

It  is  to  be  observed  how  close  all  this  is  to  the  two  temp 
tations  of  Christ — the  appeal  to  hunger  and  the  magical  view 
of  the  glorious  material  Jerusalem. 

A  third  temptation  is  with  the  daughters  of  Mara,  dis 
guised  as  beautiful  women.  Then  Mara  again  accosts 
Buddha— 

"  I  am  the  lord  of  desire ;  I  am  the  master  of  this  entire 
world.  Gods  and  men  and  beasts  have  all  fallen  into  my 
power.  Thou  art  in  my  domain.  I  charge  thee,  leave  that 
tree  and  speak  to  me  !  " 

"  If  thou  art  the  lord  of  appetite,"  replies  Buddha,  "  thou 
art  not  the  prince  of  light.  I  am  the  lord  of  the  kingdom  of 
righteousness.  Forsake  the  way  of  evil." 

"Ascetic,"  said  the  wicked  one,  "what  you  seek  is  not 
easy  to  attain.  Bhrigu  and  Angiras  by  many  austerities 
sought  emancipation  and  failed  to  find  it." 

Bhrigu  and  Angiras  were  two  of  the  seven  Rishis  of  the 
Vedas. 

The  wicked  one  draws  a  sword  from  its  scabbard,  and 
thunders  out  in  a  menacing  voice,  "  Rise  up  as  I  order.  Obey 
me,  or  like  a  green  reed  thou  shalt  be  cut  in  pieces." 

At  the  same  time  the  spirits  of  darkness  hurl  mountains 
and  flames  and  mighty  trees  at  Buddha.  Globes  of  fire  dart 
through  the  air,  and  huge  masses  of  iron,  and  terrible  javelins 
tipped  with  a  deadly  poison.  From  the  four  corners  of  heaven 
the  turmoil  rages,  and  huge  monsters  are  summoned  from  the 
vast  abyss  beneath  the  earth. 

With  majestic  calmness,  Buddha  views  all  these  demon 
hostilities  as  a  sickly  dream,  as  illusion.  By  the  aid  of  his 
guardians  of  the  unseen  world,  the  bolts  launched  against  him 
are  turned  into  beautiful  flowers. 

In  the  most  solemn  manner,  Buddha  then  calls  to  Brahma 
Prajapati,  lord  of  creatures,  and  to  his  heavenly  host,  and  to 
"all  the  Buddhas  that  live  at  the  ten  horizons."  He  smites 
the  ground,  and  earth  reverberates  like  a  huge  vessel  of  brass, 
His  prayer  is,  "  Disperse  this  inky  crew  !  " 

Immediately  the  horses  and  chariots  and  elephants  of  the 
demon  army  are  tumbled  into  the  mud  and  the  mighty  warriors 


1 12  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

dispersed.  They  fly  like  birds  before  a  blazing  forest.  The 
Wicked  One  himself  becomes  haggard,  immensely  aged, 
depressed,  overcome.  A  spirit  of  the  immortal  tree  takes 
compassion  upon  him,  and  restores  him  with  consecrated 
water. 

"  Because  I  refused  to  listen  to  the  wise  words  of  my  sons, 
and  opposed  this  pure  being,  misery  has  been  my  lot,  and 
fear  and  humiliation.  Cursings  and  contempt  have  come 
upon  me  by  mine  own  seeking." 

When  Buddha  was  emaciated  and  almost  dead  with  his 
terrible  fastings,  a  mystic  woman,  named  Sujata,  appeared 
upon  the  scene.  She  took  the  milk  of  a  thousand  cows  ;  and 
skimming  the  cream  seven  times,  she  boiled  it  with  rice.  It 
was  placed  in  a  golden  pot,  and  lo  and  behold,  prodigies — the 
outline  of  the  Indian  cross  (swastika)  and  Krishna's  St. 
Andrew's  cross  (srivatsa)  appeared  on  the  surface.  Sujata 
with  her  slave  appeared  before  the  failing  devotee,  and  the 
latter,  ashamed  of  his  nakedness  in  the  presence  of  the  young 
girls,  dug  up  the  shroud  of  a  slave  recently  buried.  Then 
Buddha  accepted  the  offering.  When  he  had  eaten  the  rice 
milk  his  body  assumed  a  beauty  never  known  before.  From 
that  time  he  was  called  "  the  comely  sramana  (ascetic)."  The 
gold  pot  was  thrown  into  the  river  ;  it  floated  up  the  stream 
against  the  current.  A  serpent  king  got  possession  of  it. 

The  name  of  Sujata  ("of  happy  birth")  is  a  very  thin 
disguise  for  the  happy  birth  of  the  new  Adam.  She  is,  of 
course,  Dharma  or  Prajiia,  divine  wisdom  personified  as  a 
woman.  That  there  may  be  no  mistake  about  this,  a  second 
episode  in  the  "  Lalita  Vistara "  brings  down  Queen  Maya 
from  heaven  to  persuade  her  son  to  eat  food. 

It  is  said  that  Buddha  after  his  long  fast  had  his  skin 
loose  as  a  camel,  that  his  ribs  pierced  through  his  poor  skin 
and  gave  him  the  aspect  of  a  crab.  How  could  this  poor 
emaciated  fainting  being  be  called  the  handsome  sramana  ? 

In  the  "Aitareya  Brahmana"  it  is  announced  that  the 
mystic  marriage  of  the  rice  and  milk  each  day  in  the  temple 
rites  was  designed  to  produce  a  "  sacrificial  man,"  a  spiritual 
double  of  the  officiating  priest,  who  was  able  to  visit  the 


JESUS  AND   THE  BAPTIST.  113 

heaven  of  Indra,  and  obtain  cattle,  propitious  rain,  and  so  on, 
for  the  worshippers.  This  was  the  exoteric  explanation  ;  but 
the  esoteric  one  is,  I  think,  revealed  in  a  Cingalese  book,  the 
"  Samafma  Phala  Sutta."  Buddha  details  at  considerable 
length  the  practices  of  the  ascetic,  and  then  enlarges  upon 
their  exact  object.  Man  has  a  body  composed  of  the  four 
elements.  It  is  the  fruit  of  the  union  of  his  father  and 
mother.  It  is  nourished  on  rice  and  gruel,  and  may  be  trun 
cated,  crushed,  destroyed.  In  this  transitory  body  his  intelli 
gence  is  enchained.  The  ascetic  finding  himself  thus  confined, 
directs  his  mind  to  the  creation  of  a  freer  integument.  He 
represents  to  himself  in  thought  another  body  created  from 
this  material  body — a  body  with  a  form,  members,  and  organs. 
This  body,  in  relation  to  the  material  body,  is  like  the  sword 
and  the  scabbard  ;  or  a  serpent  issuing  from  a  basket  in  which 
it  is  confined.  The  ascetic,  then,  purified  and  perfected,  com 
mences  to  practise  supernatural  faculties.  He  finds  himself 
able  to  pass  through  material  obstacles,  walls,  ramparts,  etc.  ; 
he  is  able  to  throw  his  phantasmal  appearance  into  many 
places  at  once  ;  he  is  able  to  walk  upon  the  surface  of  water 
without  immersing  himself ;  he  can  fly  through  the  air  like  a 
falcon  furnished  with  large  wings ;  he  can  leave  this  world 
and  reach  even  the  heaven  of  Brahma  himself. 

Another  faculty  is  now  conquered  by  his  force  of  will,  as 
the  fashioner  of  ivory  shapes  the  tusk  of  the  elephant  accord 
ing  to  his  fancy.  He  acquires  the  power  of  hearing  the 
sounds  of  the  unseen  world  as  distinctly  as  those  of  the 
phenomenal  world — more  distinctly,  in  point  of  fact.  Also 
by  the  power  of  Manas  he  is  able  to  read  the  most  secret 
thoughts  of  others,  and  to  tell  their  characters.  He  is  able  to 
say,  "  There  is  a  mind  that  is  governed  by  passion.  There  is 
a  man  that  is  enfranchised.  This  man  has  noble  ends  in 
view.  This  man  has  no  ends  in  view."  As  a  child  sees  his 
earrings  reflected  in  the  water,  and  says,  "  Those  are  my  ear 
rings,"  so  the  purified  ascetic  recognizes  the  truth.  Then 
comes  to  him  the  faculty  of  "  divine  vision,  and  he  sees  all 
that  men  do  on  earth  and  after  they  die,  and  when  they  are 
again  reborn.  Then  he  detects  the  secrets  of  the  universe, 

I 


I  14  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

and  why  men   are    unhappy,   and    how   they   may  cease   to 
be  so. 

The  "  Lotus  "  tells  us  that  "  at  the  moment  of  death  thou 
sands  of  Buddhas  show  their  faces  to  the  virtuous  man." l 
This  clairvoyance  of  Buddhism  seems  very  like  the  "dis 
cerning  of  spirits"  recorded  by  St.  Paul.  Professor  Beal 
shows  that  the  aureole,  adopted  afterwards  for  saints  in  the 
Christian  religion,  proceeded  from  an  idea  of  the  Buddhists 
that  the  ascetic  after  practising  tapas  was  supposed  to  be 
furnished  with  an  actual  coruscation  on  his  head.  In  all 
Buddhist  writings  the  double  of  Buddha,  the  "  glorified  body," 
to  use  St.  Paul's  words,  is  described  as  being  exquisitely 
beautiful.  I  think  the  words,  "  the  handsome  sramana,"  must 
allude  to  this  phantasmal  appearance,  and  not  to  the  visible 
body  shrivelled  and  marred  by  long  fastings. 

To  reach  the  abode  of  Yama  the  Indian  had  to  cross  the 
Vaitarani,  the  River  of  Death.  This  river  became  with 
Buddhists  the  Nairanjana,  which  ran  past  Buddha's  tree.  To 
cross  this  river  and  reach  the  "  other  bank,"  the  heaven  of  the 
mind,  was  the  object  of  the  Buddhist  baptism.  Buddha 
plunges  into  the  water.  Before  plunging  in,  he  exclaims— 

"  I  vow  from  this  moment  to  deliver  the  world  from  the 
thraldom  of  death  and  the  wicked  one !  I  will  procure  sal 
vation  for  all  men,  and  conduct  them  to  the  '  other  shore.' " 
But  his  strength  has  been  so  reduced  by  the  penance  of  six 
years  that  he  cannot  reach  it.  When  lo !  a  spirit  of  the  tree 
stretches  forth  a  hand  and  assists  him.  In  the  Burmese 
version,  the  tree  itself  bends  down  its  branches  as  at  the  birth 
of  the  prince. 

In  the  "Lalita  Vistara,"  Mara  opposes  in  person,  and 
makes  the  bank  grow  higher  as  the  prince  tries  to  get  out. 
There  is  a  certain  significance  in  an  incident  of  the  Burmese 
version.  On  emerging,  Buddha  dons  for  the  first  time  the 
holy  yellow  dress  of  the  Muni. 

The  advantage  of  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"   in   my  view,  is 
that  it  is  a  jumble  of  many  schools  of  Buddhism  piled  the  one 
on  the  top  of  the  other.     Each  school  has  added  its  quantum 
1  "  Lotus,"  p.  279. 


JESUS  AND    THE  BAPTIST.  115 

and  left  the  earlier  matter  still  on  its  pages.  In  it  Buddha 
bathes  in  the  mystic  Jordan  of  India,  the  Nairanjana.  But  a 
second  narrative  describes  the  gods  and  cherubs  and  nymphs 
of  the  sky  coming  down  with  vases  and  garlands  and  fans 
and  umbrellas  to  perform  the  mystic  abhisheka  (baptism).1 
The  great  dome  of  heaven,  glittering  with  many  stars,  is 
described  as  having  become  one  vast  chaitya,2  or  Buddhist 
temple.  Vases  of  water  of  exquisite  perfume  are  poured 
over  the  body  of  Buddha,  and  all  that  trickles  down  is  seized 
eagerly  by  some  of  the  spirits,  for  has  it  not  touched  his 
diamond  body  ?  In  the  "  Gospel  of  the  Infancy "  many 
miracles  are  done  with  water  that  has  bathed  the  infant 
Jesus.  The  time  has  come  to  go  a  little  more  deeply  into  the 
ancient  mysteries,  especially  the  Buddhist  ones. 

1  Page  35 1.  2  page  349. 


1 1 6  B  UDDH1SM  IN  CHRIS  TEND  OM. 


CHAPTER  XL 

Growth  in  Spirit  symbolized  by  the  Growth  of  the  Food  of  the  People- 
Buddhist  Festivals  regulated  by  Rice  Culture— The  Zodiac  as  a 
Symbol  of  Stages  of  Spiritual  Progress— In  Buddhism— In  Chris 
tianity—The  "  Monastery  of  our  Lord  "—Description  by  Josephus. 

"  KEEP  the  mysteries  for  Me  and  the  sons  of  My  house " 
(Jesus).1 

I    must   begin    by  pointing   out  a  prominent  feature    in 

ancient  mystic  symbolism.    The  food  of  the  people,  its  growth 

and  culture,  was  made  use  of  as  an  image  to  veil  the  growth 

and  culture  of  man's  spiritual  nature.     This  was  a  marked 

point    in    the    Mysteries   of  Osiris    in    Egypt,  and   Ceres   at 

Eleusis.     The   grain,   the    Bread    of    Life,   was   buried    in    a 

"cave"    at  the  spring   or   Sowing   Festival,  like   Christ   and 

Buddha,  or  in  a  coffin  like  lacchus  and  Osiris.     The  cave  was 

the  earth-life.     Then  at  the  great  Feast  of  the  Pentecost,  the 

Varsha  or  Feast  of  the  Waters  in  Buddhism,  the  Bread   of 

Life  was  baptized  with  heaven's  own  water.     This  was  the 

period   of    "Purification,"   the  first  of   the  three  great  steps 

made   by   the    mystic    in    spiritual    knowledge   according   to 

Dionysius  the  Areopagite.    This  was  the  Festival  of  the  Lesser 

Mysteries  in  Greece.     It  was  called  sometimes  the  "  Feast  of 

Weeks  "  in  Palestine,  as  it  occurred  exactly  seven  weeks  after 

the  second  day  of  the  Feast  of  the  Passover,  and  symbolized 

the  gift  of  the  Law  on  Sinai   and   the  descent  of  the  Holy 

Ghost  in  the  Christian  Church.     The  Lesser  Mysteries  with 

early  Christians  are  described  by  Clement  of  Alexandria  as 

1  Cited  in  the  Clementine  "  Homilies,"  xix.  20  ;  apparently  from  the 
"  Gospel  of  the  Hebrews." 


THE    MYSTERIES.  1 1/ 

taking  the  form  of  "  catechetical  instruction,"  "  preparation  " 
etc.  They  were,  according  to  him,  the  "  milk  for  babes  "  in 
contradistinction  to  the  "  Gnostic  communication,"  the  goal 
and  focus  of  the  Greater  Mysteries.  Then  came  the  great 
festival  of  the  year,  the  Festival  of  the  Virgin,  the  Festival  of 
Mary,  the  Festival  of  the  Tree,  the  Festival  of  Tabernacles. 
The  Bread  of  Life  has  come  forth  from  the  ground  and  the 
dark  clouds  of  an  Indian  rainy  season  have  been  followed 
by  the  bright  sun  of  an  Indian  September.  This  is  the  period 
of  the  "  Illumination  "  of  Dionysius  the  Areopagite,  the  Feast 
of  Lanterns  in  Buddhist  countries.  Finally,  at  the  spring 
festival,  whose  rites  celebrate  the  dying  as  well  as  the  new 
year,  a  mighty  rice  cake  about  the  size  of  a  footstool  is  placed 
on  the  altar.  The  worship  of  this  is  sculptured  in  all  the  old 
topes.  The  pain  benit,  cross-buns,  etc.,  symbolize  the  same 
fancy,  the  perfection  of  the  mystic  at  the  end  of  the  year. 
Easter  was,  of  course,  the  end  of  the  old  year  and  the  beginning 
of  the  new  year  in  the  early  Church. 

A  comparison  of  these  rites  with  the  times  and  seasons 
of  various  lands  shows  that  they  fit  in  admirably  with  the 
times  and  seasons  of  India,  and  fit  in  most  imperfectly  with 
those  of  Egypt,  Greece,  and  the  West,  thus  suggesting 
derivation. 

India  is  a  vast  triangle,  flat  and  torrid.  It  is  admirably 
adapted  to  the  cultivation  of  rice.  From  about  the  middle  of 
June  to  the  middle  of  September  there  falls  an  almost  inces 
sant  deluge.  On  the  volume  of  this  hinges  the  question 
whether  the  poor,  dark-skinned,  cotton-clad  vegetarians  will 
have  abundance  in  their  thatch-roofed  mud  houses  or  famine. 
This  suggests  three  great  festivals  in  honour  of  the  great 
Giver  of  Rice. 

I.  The  Sowing  Festival,  the  Feast  of  Flowers.  It  began 
formerly  seven  days  before  the  commencement  of  the  new  year, 
which  latter  event  took  place  on  the  1st  of  March.  In  rice 
cultivation  the  rice  fields  have  to  be  flattened  and  surrounded 
with  mud  banks  to  confine  the  water  that  falls  during  the 
rains.  This  may  be  the  origin  of  the  smoothing  of  rough 
places  at  the  birth  of  Buddha. 


1 1 8  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM, 

2  The  Feast  of  the  Waters.  In  Siam  and  the  South  the 
image  of  Buddha  is  washed  with  great  pomp,  and  every  holy 
talapoin,  or  monk,  is  soused  with  jars  of  water  by  his 
inferiors.  The  poor  folks  then  scramble  for  this  sacred  fluid. 
If  they  can  lap  up  a  drop  or  two  that  has  touched  a  holy  man 
or  an  idol  they  are  happy  for  life.  All  classes  souse  and  wash 
one  another,  sometimes  with  scented  water,  as  in  the  Indian 
Holi.  The  two  large  tanks  in  Chinese  temples,  reproduced 
in  the  large  fons  or  baptisterium  of  old  Christian  churches, 
which  was  ample  enough  to  baptize  a  crowd  at  a  time,  seem 
to  point  to  this  rite.  The  Greek  Christians  still  rush  into  the 
Jordan  on  a  certain  day  and  splash  one  another,  and  sousings 
were  known  to  the  Church  of  the  Middle  Ages.  This  is  the 
Buddhist  Varsha,  or  Lent ;  and  the  monks  preach  twice  a  day 
instead  of  once  a  week.  During  this  period  the  temples  are 
thronged,  and  the  offerings  very  large.  But,  according  to  the 
acute  Father  La  Loubere,  the  cultivation  of  the  material  rice 
has  more  to  do  with  this  lenten  piety  and  generosity  than  the 
cultivation  of  the  rice-milk  of  immortality.  "  The  rice  harvest 
depends  upon  plentiful  rain,  and  plentiful  rain  upon  piety," 
say  the  Siamese.1 

3.  The  Feast  of  the  Subsidence  of  the  Waters,  the  Feast 
of  the  Tree,  the  Feast  of  Lanterns.  To  this  day  in  India 
the  Hindoos,  headed  by  their  Rajah,  go  out  into  the  jungle 
and  live  like  the  Israelites,  in  tabernacles  and  booths  of  leaves. 
The  Rajah  goes  solemnly  to  a  rice  field  and  plucks  a  stalk. 
His  court  scramble  for  the  remainder.  It  is  the  season  for 
the  great  illuminations  in  Buddhist  countries,  and  the  tala- 
poins  of  Siam,  as  Father  La  Loubere  tells  us,  go  out  at  this 
season  for  three  weeks,  and  pass  the  nights  in  vigils  in  little 
huts  built  of  leaves  and  boughs.  Each  day  they  return  to 
the  temple  for  a  daily  service.2  In  Pegu,  the  night  is  passed 
in  illuminations  by  all  the  people,  and  the  great  gate  of  the 
city  is  thrown  open.  Thanks  are  everywhere  given  to  Buddha 
for  an  abundant  harvest. 

1  La  Loubere,  cited  in  Picart,  vol.  vii.  pp.  64,  66.    See  also  Purchas  on 
the  Pegu  Festival,  p.  37. 

2  Cited  by  Picart,  "  Ceremonies,  etc.,"  p.  65. 


PLATE  IV. 


OLD    BUDDHIST    ZODIAC. 


[Page  119. 


THE   MYSTERIES.  119 

This  gives  us  the  scaffolding  of  the  story  of  Buddha,  and 
of  the  other  Avataras. 

1.  For  the  due  cultivation  of  the  food  of  the  people  God 
was  imaged  as  that  food,  and  the  festivals  and  the  incidents 
during  the  mystical  year  that  his  life  was  supposed  to  last, 
arranged  to  promote  that  culture.      Indeed,  those   who   are 
familiar  with  the  superstitions  of  the  rice  culture  still  existing 
in  modern  Ceylon,  and  the  elaborate  incantations  performed 
for  an  auspicious  day  to  turn  the  first  sod,  to  soak  the  rice,  to 
sow  it,  to  charm  away  the  rice  grubs,  to  slaughter  the  rice 
flies,  to  obtain  fruitful  rain,  and  at  last  to  reap  it,  would  think 
that  religion  was  at  first  the  chief  branch  of  agriculture.1 

2.  A  man  becoming  at  last  one  with  God  imaged  as  the 
kosmos  is  painted  for  the    mystics,  and  the  zodiac  used   to 
mark  the  stages  of  his  spiritual  progress. 

This  I  learnt  first  from  the  life  of  Buddha.  It  is  recorded 
in  the  "Lalita  Vistara,"2  that  the  star  Pushya  (S  of  Cancer)  was 
shining  when  he  entered  his  mother's  womb.  This  means,  of 
course,  that  when  Pushya  rises  in  the  sky  the  Celestial 
Elephant  (Capricorn)  enters  the  womb  of  Earth,  the  mighty 
mother.  The  spring  festival,  with  its  ploughing  and  sowing, 
is  selected  for  the  time  of  his  birth  ;  his  horse,  Kantaka,  is 
born  at  the  same  moment,  because  the  symbol  for  Aries  is 
the  horse.  The  first  three  months  lumped  together  may  be 
classed  under  the  sign  of  the  Indian  twins,  who  are  repre 
sented  as  a  naked  young  man  and  woman,  and  docketed  with 
a  coarse  name.  Buddha  is  in  the  earth-life,  in  the  palace 
with  the  seven  moats,  in  the  kama  loka,  or  domain  of 
.appetite,  pure  and  simple.  We  have  the  carnal  marriage  of 
the  mystic  as  distinguished  from  the  marriage  of  the  lamb. 

The  period  terminates  with  the  Indian  Olympia,  when 
Krishna,  Buddha,  and  Rama  win  each  a  bride  at  a  great 
archery  or  wrestling  competition. 

When  the  Twins  dominate  the  sky  the  Bow  (Sagittarius) 
is  shining  at  midnight. 

But  when  we  view  the  year  as    symbolizing  the  life  of 

1  See  Mr.  Le  Mesurier's  paper  in  vol.  xvii.  p.  3,  Journ.  As.  Soc. 
2Page6i. 


120  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

a  mystic,  this  festival  is  of  immense  importance,  for  it  was 
the  festival  of  what  the  ancients  called  the  "  Lesser  Mysteries." 

See  how  the  signs  of  the  zodiac  now  prepare  us  for  the 
"  Greater  Mysteries,"  at  the  crucial  festival  of  the  Tree  (Virgo). 
With  Cancer  commences  the  gnawing  away  of  animalism. 

The  Buddhist  Virgo  is  often  represented  by  a  tree ;  which 
explains  the  "  lion  throne  "  (Leo),  round  the  "  tree  of  know 
ledge  "  that  Buddha  sat  under,  a  tree  on  which  the  pearl 
Mani  (the  Balance)  glistened.  Here  commences  the  great 
fight  of  the  dreaming  mystic  with  Mara  (Scorpio)  conquered 
at  length  with  the  bow  of  Indra  the  conqueror  (Sagittarius). 
In  the  Indian  religion,  this  was  called  the  state  of  Indra  the 
Jina  (the  conqueror).  "  To  him  that  overcometh  will  I  give 
a  crown  of  life,"  says  the  Apocalypse. 

Buddha  then  attains  the  "  elephant  called  Bodhi "  (gnosis), 
as  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  calls  it,  the  elephant  being  the 
symbol  of  occult  wisdom.  A  mystic  maiden  then  gives  him 
a  vase  of  amrita,  or  immortal  food  (Aquarius).  Finally,  the 
mystic  reaches  the  sign  called  Dharma  Chakra.  This,  with 
Brahmin  heroes,  was  the  "  Quoit  of  Death,"  that  never  failed 
in  its  terrible  flight.  With  Buddhists,  it  became  the  "  Wheel 
of  the  Law,"  the  Zodiac  of  Dharma,  our  mystic  mother. 
Without  any  disguise,  the  spiritual  adept  was  called  Chakra- 
vartin  (he  who  has  turned  through  the  zodiac). 

Here  we  have  the  key  of  what  St.  Paul  calls  the  "hidden 
wisdom."  It  was  based  on  the  text,  "  And  God  made  man 
after  His  own  image."  To  work  this  out,  man  had  to  become 
one  with  God's  starry  tabernacle.  The  Essenes,  at  the  highest 
initiation,  had  to  become  "Temples  of  the  Holy  Ghost,"  and 
Christians  were  long  called  "  Temples  of  God." 

The  mystic  gate  through  which  the  soul  passes  from 
darkness  to  light  is  the  "  Porte  Noire "  of  the  Chinese 
Buddhist,  Hwen  Thsang.  In  the  Mahabharata  are  passages 
describing  a  gate  of  a  city  of  cloudland,  over  which  the  bird 
Garuda  broods.  With  the  masons  it  is  the  royal  arch,  with 
the  two  mystic  columns,  Jachin  and  Boaz.  Madame  Guyon 
and  the  Christian  mystics  saw  at  once  that  it  was  the  "  open 
door  "  of  Rev.  iii.  8,  only  to  be  unlocked  by  the  "  Key  of 


THE  MYSTERIES.  121 

David  "  (probably  the  looped  cross  carried  by  all  Egyptian 
initiates  into  the  realms  of  Osiris). 

I  will  write  down,  from  the  Catholic  Prayer-book,  a  few 
sentences  of  the  "  Litany  of  the  Blessed  Virgin." 

"  Holy  Mother  of  God  !  "  "  Mother  of  Christ !  "  "  Gate  of 
Heaven  !  "  "  Chalice  of  the  Spirit !  "  "  Mystical  Rose  !  " 
"  Tower  of  Ivory  !  "  "  Mirror  of  Justice  !  "  "  Seat  of 
Wisdom  !  " 

To  these  I  will  add  a  part  of  the  hymn  of  incense  from 
an  older  Christian  ritual,  that  of  the  Armenian  Church. 

"  Triumph  and  rejoice,  O  Sion,  daughter  of  Light,  Universal 
Mother  with  thy  children.  Don  thy  raiment  and  jewels, 
August  Bride,  Shining  Tabernacle  of  Light,  an  image  of 
Heaven  ;  because  the  Anointed  God,  the  Being  of  Beings, 
sacrifices  himself  for  thee  without  being  consumed.  To 
reconcile  us  to  the  father,  and  to  expiate  our  sins,  he  dis 
tributes  his  flesh  and  blood.  By  virtue  of  this  sacrifice, 
pardon  him  who  built  this  temple. 

"The  Holy  Church  recognizes  and  confesses  the  pure 
Virgin  Mary  as  Mother  of  God,  by  whom  has  been  given  to 
us  the  bread  of  life  and  the  consoling  cup.  Bless  her  in  a 
spiritual  song."  ("  Hymn  of  Incense,"  p.  17.) 

This  is  another  hymn  from  the  same  ritual— 

"  Mother  of  faith,  holy  assembly  of  thousands, 
Sublime  nuptial  bed, 
Of  the  house  of  the  immortal  Spouse, 
Who  decks  thee  from  eternity. 
Thou  art  a  second  wondrous  heaven, 
Springing  from  glory  to  glory. 

Like  rays  of  light  thou  bearest  us  in  thy  great  womb 
In  the  birth  of  baptism. 
Thou  givest  us  the  purifying  bread  ; 
Thou  givest  us  the  blood  revered  ; 
Rank  over  rank,  thou  raisest  those  aloft 
Who  little  understand  these  things. 
The  ancient  tabernacle  is  thy  type. 
Thy  new  tabernacle  is  far  above  the  old  ; 
It  has  broken  the  gates  of  diamond, 
And  thou  hast  broken  the  gates  of  hell. 

We   see   here   the    Universal  Mother,    as   the   Armenian 


122 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


ritual  calls  her,  play  the  same  part  as  she  does  in  Buddhist 
mysticism.  She  is  the  "Gate  of  Heaven,"  separating  the 
Golden  Jerusalem  from  Babylon,  the  Tabernacle  of  Light 
from  the  Tabernacle  of  Darkness.  She  is  "Wisdom,"  the 
palm  tree,  by  En  Gaddi,  that  gives  forth  "  a  sweet  smell  like 
cinnamon  and  aspalathus  "  (Eccl.  xxiv.).  "  To  him  that  over- 
cometh  will  I  give  to  eat  of  the  Tree  of  Life  which  is  in  the 
midst  of  the  Paradise  of  God,"  1  said  the  mystic  Alpha  and 
Omega. 

Here  she  is  as  the  corn-sheaf  (Virgo),  surmounted  by  the 
dove  (Libra),  separating  the  two 
halves  of  the  zodiac,  symbolized  by 
Leo  and  the  old  serpent.  This  is 
from  Smith's  "  Christian  Antiquities." 
From  Martigny's  "Antiquites  Chre- 
tiennes  "  (Fig.  9),  we  get  her  between 
the  green  tree  and  the  dry,  the  words 
of  Christ  used  to  denote  the  two  trees 

of  the  Kabbalah,  the  Tree  of  Knowledge  and  the  Tree  of  Life. 

These  also  symbolize  the 
black  and  white  halves  of 
the  zodiac.  Zodiacal  amu 
lets  (Fig.  10)  were  known  to 
the  early  Christians.2  The 
scales,  the  Lion  of  Judah, 
the  cup  (Aquarius),  the 
horse  and  lamb  (Aries),  are 
on  all  the  monuments,  and 
Christ  is  sometimes  drawn 
as  the  archer.  The  Apo 
calypse  has  the  "  Woman  " 

Fig.  9>  with  the  crescent  under  her 

feet,     and     the     crown     of 

twelve  stars.  Like  Aditi,  of  the  Rig  Veda,  she  is  the  mother 
of  the  twelve  Adityas  or  months.  Also,  she  has  "  the  wings 
of  an  eagle,"  the  significance  of  this  symbol  has  already  been 

1  Rev.  ii.  7. 

2  See  Martigny,  article  "  Zodiaque." 


THE  MYSTERIES.  123 

noticed.      She  brings  forth   a  "man  child,"  and    the  mystic 
"dragon,"  with  "seven  heads,"  assails  both  mother  and  son. 
"  My  little  children,  of  whom  I  travail  in  birth  till  Christ  be 
formed  in  you,"1  said   St.  Paul.      In   mysticism  the  mystic 
must    become    the   Son    of 
God,2  must  be  "  born  again  " 
of    the    woman    with    the 
twelve  stars,  must  be  vexed 
of  "  scorpions  five  months," 
or   the   five   months   domi 
nated  by  Scorpio,  before  he  Fig'  Ia 
can  reach  the  crown,  the  cross,  the  "  mystical  death." 

The  Gnostics,  in  their  great  controversy  with  Irenaeus  and 
the  Romish  Church,  asserted  that  the  twelve  disciples  signified 
the  twelve  aeons,  the  twelve  months  of  Christ's  mystical  life. 
They  asserted  that  the  woman  with  the  issue  of  blood  twelve 
years  typified  the  same  piece  of  mysticism,  and  her  cure  was, 
of  course,  the  higher  life.  There  were  two  Achamoths  or 
mystical  women,  the  higher  residing  beyond  the  Pleroma. 
The  mystical  "  grace  "  of  the  Kabbalah  was  able  to  make  us 
sit  together  "  in  heavenly  places,"  even  in  this  life,  according 
to  St.  Paul  (Eph.  ii.  6). 

"But  Sophia  is  justified  of  all  her  children."  Christ 
meant  here,  according  to  the  Gnostics,  the  twelve  stages  of 
spiritual  progress,  the  mystic  woman  with  the  twelve  stars, 
the  twelve  aeons  that  stand  round  the  throne  of  God.3 

In  the  Gnostic  initiation,  according  to  this  same  autho 
rity,  was  a  nuptial  couch.  Do  not  bishops,  nuns,  and  free 
masons,  in  their  initiations,  lie  down  and  personate  death  to 
this  day  ?  And  does  not  Tertullian  talk  of  a  Christian  rite 
that  imitated  the  resurrection  ? 

"  Into  the  name  of  the  Unknown  Father  of  the  Universe, 
into  Truth  the  mother  of  all  things,  into  Him  who  descended 
on  Jesus,  into  union  and  redemption  and  communion  with 
the  powers."  This  is  the  form  of  Gnostic  baptism  given  by 
Irenaeus,4  and  is  condemned  by  that  very  literal  monk  ;  and 

1  Gal.  iv.  19.  2  Rev.  xxi.  7. 

3  See  Irenaeus,  "Haer.,"  bk.  i.  c.  21,  23.  4  Ibid.,  bk.  i.  c.  3. 


124  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

so  is  another  assertion  of  the  Gnostics,  that  the  real  baptism 
was  different  from  the  mere  outward  rite.  They  cited,  he 
tells  us,  these  words  of  Christ :  "  And  I  have  another  baptism 
to  be  baptized  with,  and  I  hasten  towards  it." l  There  is  a 
text  like  it  in  Luke  (xii.  50). 

This  brings  us  to  the  catacombs,  which  are  immensely 
valuable  as  giving  the  veiled  Christian  and  also  veiled  Essene 
symbolism.  The  Abbe  Martigny  says  very  justly,  "The 
monuments  and  writings  of  the  earliest  Christian  ages  are 
quite  clothed  in  mystery.  Allegory  and  symbolism  reign 
everywhere.  The  language  of  the  Fathers  and  teachers  is  full 
of  reticences.  Christian  art  is  a  jumble  of  hieroglyphics  and 
enigmas  of  which  the  initiates  alone  have  the  key."2  He 
cites  St.  Paul  (i  Cor.  iii.  i),  who  tells  the  Corinthians  that 
he  cannot  tell  the  same  truths  to  the  "carnal"  and  the 
"  spiritual."  He  cites  Christ  as  forbidding  that  which  is  holy 
(the  secret  doctrine)  to  be  given  to  the  "dogs"  (Matt.  vii.  6), 
a  far  more  plausible  interpretation  than  that  of  Baur.  It 
means,  of  course,  the  unspiritual  in  all  regions,  and  not  the 
material  Gentiles. 

The  catacombs  are  sepulchral  crypts  modelled,  as  Dean 
Stanley  thinks,  on  the  crypts  of  Palestine.  Their  symbolism 
is  chiefly  from  the  Old  Testament.  On  the  tombs  of  bishops 
and  martyrs  figure  rude  frescoes  of  Moses  striking  the  rock, 
Jonah  and  the  whale,  the  "  three  children,"  Jonah  naked,  sit 
ting  under  a  trellis  of  gourds.  All  this  puzzled  modern 
Christians  when  they  were  first  opened.  No  bleeding  Christs 
were  to  be  seen.  What  connection  was  there  between  these 
designs  and  the  dead  saint  whose  poor  little  chapel  sepulchre 
they  illustrated  ? 

In  point  of  fact,  each  design  represented  a  stage  of  the 
spiritual  progress  of  the  entombed  saint.  From  Bosio 
("  Sculture  et  Pittore,"  etc.,  1737)  I  copy  four  favourite 
frescoes  for  illustration. 

1  Iren^us,  "  H^r."  bk.  i.  c.  81. 

2  "  Antiques  Chre'tiennes,"  art.  "  Secret." 


THE  MYSTERIES. 


125 


I.  The  Child  in  the  swaddling  clothes  of  flesh  introduced 
to  the  "manger"  of  animal  life  (Fig.  n). 


Fig.  ii, 


Fig.  12. 

2.  Moses  striking  the  rock.  Purification,  the  first  stage  of 
spirituality  in  the  life  of  the  Chosen  One.  The  water 
baptism  (Fig.  12). 


126  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

3.  The  fire  baptism  (illumination),  almost  invariably  de 
picted    in   the   catacombs   by  the   three  children   of  Daniel 


Fig.  13. 

4.  The  Lazarus  released  from  the  swathings  of  the  flesh 
by  the  jod  of  the  Christus,  after  the  four  mystical  days  passed 
in  the  "  tomb  "  or  earth  life  (Fig.  14). 


Fig.  14. 

The  young  Christ  in  the  frontispiece  also  represents  the 
four  stages  of  spiritual  progress  depicted  by  the  beasts  of 
Daniel.  And  so  do  the  four  horses,  sword,  or  Gemini,  scales, 
bow,  and  Indian  quoit  of  death  (p.  37).  Observe  that  after 
His  progress  through  the  four  stages  the  Christ  has  the  cross 
on  his  nimbus.  This  was  the  mystical  meaning  of  the  cross. 


THE  MYSTERIES.  12 / 

THE  MONASTERY  OF  OUR  LORD. 

Whilst  Protestant  polemics  are  ever  seeking  to  show  that 
Christ  opposed  mysticism  and  the  ascetic  life,  the  Roman 
Catholics  are  equally  active  in  the  other  direction.  Mon- 
seigneur  Mislin  calls  the  Essenes,  Rechabites,  and  Therapeuts, 
the  "  Monks  of  the  Old  Law."  l  Catholic  writers  also  call 
a  monastery  on  the  Quarantania  mountain  the  "  Monastery  of 
Our  Lord."  "Monseigneur  Mislin  tells  us  that  the  number 
of  cells  pierced  in  this  mountain  is  so  considerable  that  the 
rocks  of  the  Quarantania  resemble  a  beehive." 2  Travellers 
in  Burmah  and  other  Buddhist  countries  record  the  same 
always  of  a  hillside  where  the  Buddhist  monks  have  resided. 

"  The  holy  grotto,"  says  the  Francescan,  Lievin  de  Hamme, 
"  which  our  Lord  dwelt  in  during  His  forty  days'  fast  has  not 
yet  lost  the  paintings  that  once  covered  it.  Amongst  other 
scenes  of  His  ministry,  Jesus  is  to  be  still  seen  here  tempted 
by  the  devil." 

The  Carmelite  monks  maintain  that  their  order  has  come 
down  direct  from  Elijah  through  the  sons  of  the  prophets,  the 
Essenes,  etc.  A  book  was  published  by  the  Carmelite  Father 
Daniel  in  the  seventeenth  century  with  the  following  title, 
"  The  Mirror  of  Carmel,  or  the  History  of  the  Order  of  Elias, 
or  the  Brothers  of  Our  Lady  of  Mount  Carmel,  in  which  its 
origin  is  traced  to  the  Prophet  Elias,  its  propagation  to  the 
Children  of  the  Prophets,  and  its  succession  shown  without 
interruption  through  the  Essenes,  Hermits,  and  Monks,  in 
answer  to  attacks,  etc.  Antwerp,  1680." 

It  is  asserted  there  that  the  Monastery  of  Our  Lord  dates 
from  the  Prophet  Elisha.  Finding  the  cells  of  Mount  Carmel 
and  the  caverns  of  the  prophets  insufficient,  he  came  over  and 
established  a  new  school  of  the  prophets  on  the  Quarantania. 

Josephus  gives  us  a  description  of  this  region  in  his  day. 
It  is  the  longest  and  most  elaborate  description  that  he 
indulges  in  of  any  part  of  Palestine.  On  this  topic  he  is 
generally  brief.  We  may  argue  from  this  that  he  knew  the 

1  Cited  by  the  author  of  "Jesus  Bouddha,"  p.  195. 

2  "  Jesus  Bouddha,"  p.  194. 


128  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

region  well.  Wishing  to  study  the  different  opinions  of  the 
three  main  sects  of  the  Jews  of  his  day— the  Pharisees,  the 
Sadducees,  and  the  Essenes— he  tested  all  three  with  much 
labour. 

"  But  all  this  did  not  satisfy  me,  and  learning  that  one 
Banus  was  living  in  austerity  in  the  wilderness,  that  he  had 
no  other  raiment  than  the  bark  of  trees,  that  his  sole  food 
was  the  fruits  of  the  earth,  and  that  to  dominate  the  flesh 
he  bathed  many  times  day  and  night  and  summer  and  winter 
in  cold  water,  I  resolved  to  imitate  him.  Having  passed 
three  years  with  him,  I  returned  to  Jerusalem  at  the  age 
of  nineteen.  I  then  commenced  the  duties  of  civil  life,  and 
embraced  the  sect  of  the  Pharisees." 

Banus  was  an  Essene,  and  Josephus's  ostentatious  profes 
sion  that  he  was  a  Pharisee  was  plainly  a  blind  to  escape  the 
persecution  of  the  Jews,  and  afterwards  of  the  Romans.  In 
describing  the  three  sects,  he  dismisses  the  Pharisees  and 
Sadducees  in  a  few  lines,  but  enlarges  with  abundant  detail 
on  the  sect  of  the  Essenes,  which  he  calls  the  most  perfect  of 
all  Also  he  practised  divination,  which  would  have  been 
viewed  as  an  abomination  by  the  Pharisees. 

I  cannot  do  better  than  here  transcribe  Josephus's  account 
of  the  region  where  the  "  Monastery  of  Our  Lord  "  is  situate. 

"  Jericho  sits  on  a  plain  dominated  by  a  lofty  mountain, 
sterile  and  naked,  and  so  extensive  *that  it  stretches  north 
wards  to  Scythopolis  and  southwards  to  Sodom.  Owing  to 
this  sterility  no  one  dwells  upon  it. 

"Near  Jericho  is  a  large  fountain,  whose  abundant  waters 
fertilize  the  fields  around.  Its  spring  is  nigh  that  ancient 
city  which  Jesus,  the  son  of  Nave,  that  brave  Hebrew  chief, 
gained  by  victory.  Folks  say  that  the  waters  of  this  fountain 
were  of  old  so  dangerous  that  they  rotted  earth's  fruits,  and 
made  pregnant  women  bring  forth  before  their  time.  More 
over,  the  waters  spread  their  poison  wherever  it  could  harm. 
But  since  that  time,  the  prophet  Elisha,  that  worthy  successor 
of  Elias,  has  made  the  waters  good  to  drink,  and  as  pure, 
healthy,  and  as  fecundating  as  they  were  formerly  nocuous. 
All  this  came  about  thus.  That  illustrious  man  having  been 


THE   MYSTERIES.  129 

humanely  received  by  the  dwellers  in  Jericho,  wished  to  mark 
his  sense  of  gratitude  by  conferring  a  favour  whose  effects 
should  never  be  seen  to  cease  either  by  them  or  by  the 
neighbourhood.  Sinking  to  the  bottom  of  the  fountain  a  jug 
filled  with  salt,  he  lifted  his  eyes  and  his  hands  to  heaven, 
and  made  oblations  on  the  bank.  He  then  prayed  God  to 
sweeten  the  many  streams  that,  proceeding  from  this  spring, 
watered  the  surrounding  country  ;  to  temper  the  air  to  make 
it  more  genial  ;  to  give  plenty  to  the  earth,  and  abundant 
children  to  those  who  cultivated  it,  the  waters  never  ceasing 
to  be  propitious  as  long  as  man  was  just.  This  earnest 
prayer  had  power  to  change  the  nature  of  the  fountain,  and 
to  make  it  as  fecundating  as  it  was  once  sterile.  The  virtue 
of  these  waters  is  so  great  that  a  few  drops  thrown  on  the  soil 
will  render  it  fertile  ;  and  spots  where  the  waters  have  long 
remained  bring  forth  no  more  than  the  spots  where  it  rapidly 
passes,  as  if  they  wished  to  punish  those  who  arrest  them  in 
mistrust  of  their  miraculous  effects.  In  all  this  region  is  no 
spring  with  so  long  a  course. 

"The  ground  it  waters  is  seventy  stadia  in  length  and 
twenty  in  breadth.  Many  gardens  abound  there  with  palm- 
trees  of  many  names  and  natures.  Some,  if  you  press  them, 
give  forth  a  honey  like  ordinary  honey,  which  is  here  very 
abundant.  Here,  too,  flourish  the  cypress  and  the  Indian  plum, 
and  that  tree  which  gives  forth  a  balm  that  the  juice  of  no 
other  fruit  can  rival.  Thus  it  may  be  said,  as  it  seems  to  me, 
that  a  country  where  so  many  rare  products  so  richly  flourish 
has  something  divine  in  it ;  and  I  doubt  whether  in  any  other 
part  of  the  globe  is  to  be  found  its  equal,  so  rapid  is  the 
growth  of  all  that  is  sown  and  planted.  This  is  to  be  attri 
buted  to  the  balmy  air  and  the  fecundating  attributes  of  the 
water.  The  one  opens  the  flowers  and  leaves,  the  other 
strengthens  the  roots  by  forming  plentiful  sap  in  the  heats 
of  summer,  which  are  so  great  that  without  the  cooling 
moisture  nothing  could  grow.  But  however  great  the  heat 
may  be,  each  morning  there  comes  a  light  breeze,  which  cools 
the  water  which  folks  draw  before  sunrise.  During  the  winter 
the  climate  is  warm,  and  a  single  garment  of  cloth  is  enough 

K 


130  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

when  snow  is  falling  in  other  parts  of  Judea.  This  region  is 
one  hundred  and  fifty  stadia  (about  fourteen  miles)  from  Jeru 
salem,  and  sixty  (about  seven  miles)  from  the  Jordan.  The 
country  between  it  and  Jerusalem  is  a  stony  wilderness  ;  and 
although  that  which  stretches  from  the  Jordan  to  the  Dead 
Sea  is  not  so  mountainous,  it  is  not  less  sterile  and  unculti 
vated.  I  think  I  have  detailed  all  the  favours  granted  by 
nature  to  the  environs  of  Jericho." 

This  passage  lets  us  into  some  of  the  secrets  of  the  great 
spiritual  movement  that  changed  the  world. 

The  Essene  mystics  had  selected  the  only  spot  in  Pales 
tine  that  was  warm  enough  for  the  Indian  yoga  or  mystic 
dreaming  under  trees. 

One  might  almost  say  that  this  region  had  been  prepared 
by  nature  for  its  work.  It  was  protected  by  ranges  of  arid 
honey-combed  hills,  and  by  the  mephitic  air  of  the  shores  of 
the  Dead  Sea.  To  the  dominant  party  in  Jerusalem  nature 
thus  opposed  Death,  Famine,  and  Fever,  three  vigilant 
sentries.  It  is  to  be  observed,  too,  that  the  want  of  water  in 
the  caverns  and  mountains  was  another  prominent  safeguard. 
It  was  impossible  to  remain  long  in  the  wilderness  without 
knowing  the  whereabouts  of  the  "  cisterns,"  the  rude  reser 
voirs  of  rain-water.  Hazazon  Tamar,  or  the  "  City  of  Palms  " 
(Engedi),  was,  according  to  Pliny,  the  head-quarters  of  the 
Essenes.  He  flourished  A.D.  23-79. 

This  is  what  he  says  of  the  Essenes  :  "  On  the  western 
shore  (of  the  Dead  Sea),  but  distant  from  the  sea  far  enough 
to  escape  its  noxious  breezes,  dwelt  the  Essenes.  They  are 
an  eremite  clan,  one  marvellous  beyond  all  others  in  the  whole 
world,  without  any  women,  with  sexual  intercourse  entirely 
given  up,  without  money ;  and  the  associates  of  palm  trees. 
Daily  is  the  throng  of  those  that  crowd  about  them  renewed, 
men  resorting  to  them  in  numbers,  driven  through  weariness 
of  existence  and  the  surges  of  ill  fortune  in  their  manner  of 
life.  Thus  it  is  that  through  thousands  of  ages,  incredible 
to  relate,  their  society,  in  which  no  one  is  born,  lives  on  peren 
nial"  ("Hist.  Nat."  v.  17). 

"Jesus  Bouddha"  is  a  powerful  little  work  tracing  out  the 


THE   MYSTERIES.  13! 

connection  between  Christianity  and  Buddhism,  but  from  a 
point  of  view  very  hostile  to  both.  The  author  urges  with 
plausibility  that  John  the  Baptist  was  the  head  of  this  school 
of  prophets  on  the  Quarantania.  There  he  was  close  to  the 
Jordan,  which  was  of  so  much  importance  in  the  religion  of 
the  Nazarites.  The  author  argues  that  it  would  have  been 
quite  impossible  for  Christ  to  be  baptized  of  John  without 
the  preliminary  instruction  prescribed  to  the  novice.  In  point 
of  fact,  the  "  Gospel  of  the  First  Infancy  "  states  positively  that 
"  He  gave  himself  to  the  study  of  the  law  until  he  arrived  at 
the  end  of  his  thirtieth  year."  l 

1  "  First  Infancy,"  chap.  xxii.  2. 


132  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  XII. 

The  "Signs  of  an  Apostle" — Conflicting  views  of  Catholics  and  Pro 
testants  about  Miraculous  Gifts — Magic  Rites  of  the  Kabbalah — The 
"  Twelve  great  Disciples  "  of  Buddhism — "  Go  ye  into  all  the  world." 

THE  "SIGNS  OF  AN  APOSTLE." 

IT  is  recorded  in  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  that  when  Buddha 
had  completely  overcome  the  wicked  one,  the  bright  spirits 
came  round  him  as  he  sat  under  the  tree  'of  knowledge,  and 
proposed  to  offer  him  flowers,  in  the  character  of  Purusha 
(the  God-Man).  But  an  objection  was  raised  that  he  had 
not  yet  attested  his  great  mission  by  miraculous  "  signs."  l 
In  consequence,  Buddha  rose  aloft  into  the  air,  and  miracu 
lously  checked  the  flow  of  the  river  near  him,  and  broke  up 
the  roadway.  "'Tis  thus,"  he  said,  "that  I  will  now  check 
the  flow  of  grief  in  the  world."  As  Buddha's  life  is  an  en- 
sample  and  text  book,  all  this  meant  that  the  monk,  before 
he  came  to  be  a  perfect  Arahat,  had  to  pass  an  examination 
in  miraculous  gifts  at  the  hands  of  his  brother-monks  ;  and 
in  Buddhist  histories  these  examinations  are  not  uncommon. 
Dr.  Ginsburg,  in  his  work  "  The  Essenes,"  maintains  that 

similar  tests  were  required  of  the  early  Christians. 

"  Truly  the  signs  of  an  apostle  were  wrought  among  you 

in   all   patience,  in  signs,  and   wonders,  and    mighty  deeds" 

(2  Cor.  xii.  12). 

"  And  these  signs  shall  follow  them  that  believe  :  In  My 

name  shall  they  cast  out  devils  ;  they  shall  speak  with  new 

tongues ;  they  shall  take  up  serpents ;  and  if  they  drink  any 

1  Foucaux,  p.  336. 


SIGNS  AND    WONDERS.  133 

deadly  thing  it  shall  not  hurt  them  ;  they  shall  lay  hands  on 
the  sick  and  they  shall  recover"  (Mark  xvi.  17,  18). 

"And  many  that  believed  came,  and  confessed,  and  shewed 
their  deeds"  (Acts  xix.  18). 

"  How  is  it  that  every  one  of  you  hath  a  psalm,  hath  a 
doctrine,  hath  a  tongue,  hath  a  revelation  ?  If  there  come  in 
those  that  are  unlearned,  or  unbelievers,  will  they  not  say 
that  you  are  mad?"  (i  Cor.  xiv.  23). 

We  here  get  a  great  point  of  debate  between  Catholics 
and  Protestants.  All  sects  have  Bibles  distinct  from  their 
avowed  testaments  and  articles  of  religion  ;  and  the  modern 
gospel  of  Protestants  is,  I  think,  Smith's  "  Dictionary  of  the 
Bible."  In  that,  under  the  heading  "  Magic,"  it  is  laid  down 
authoritatively,  that  man  cannot  gain  what  are  called  super 
natural  powers  by  any  known  natural  processes.  It  is  held 
that  the  wonders  recorded  in  Gentile  schools  of  magic  were 
all  illusory.  A  miracle  is  an  experience  that  goes  counter 
to  a  general  law  ;  and  such  have  been  confined  to  the  Hebrew 
race  to  "prove  the  truth"  of  Mosaism  and  Christianity,  the 
writer  failing  to  trace,  with  Dr.  Edersheim,  a  wholesale  antago 
nism  between  the  two.  It  is  held,  that  a  vague  thing  called 
"  miraculous  gifts,"  was  given  to  the  first  Christians,  not  earned 
by  them.  It  was  not  the  reward  of  fastings  and  ascetic 
practices,  but  was  gained  at  once  by  the  touch  of  an  "  Apostle," 
plainly  with  the  providential  design  of  showing,  that  with  the 
death  of  these,  such  "  gifts  "  were  to  cease.  All  signs  and  won 
ders  since  that  have  been  unnecessary  as  well  as  unauthentic. 

As  opposed  to  this,  the  Catholics  maintain  that  the  visions 
and  so-called  miraculous  powers  of  the  mystic,  or  as  he  was 
called  everywhere  at  the  date  of  Christ,  the  ascetic,  are  due 
to  certain  processes  which  are  still  available.  They  appeal  to 
the  history  and  experience  of  the  Jews.  They  also  appeal  to 
the  history  and  experience  of  the  Gentiles,  who  "  had  their 
schools  of  mysticism  which  found  its  highest  expressions 
amongst  the  Brahmins  and  Buddhists."  1  If  the  miracles  of 
the  Old  Testament  were  due  to  a  special  gift,  and  all  training 
was  considered  illusory,  the  question  arises — Why  did  Elijah 
1  Migne,  "  Dictionnaire  d'Asceticisme,"  vol.  ii.  p.  1514- 


134  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

establish  a  school  of  the  prophets  at  Mount  Carmel,  and 
Elisha  another  near  Jericho  ? 

In  i  Kings  xviii.  we  read  of  a  hundred  prophets  living  in 
a  cave.  In  the  next  chapter,  we  see  Elias,  with  his  long  hair 
and  leathern  girdle,  sitting  under  a  juniper  tree.  In  the  fourth 
chapter  of  Judges,  we  see  Deborah  judging  Israel  from  under 
a  palm  tree.  Another  prophet  (i  Kings  xx.)  appears  "dis 
guised  with  ashes."  St.  Paul  tells  us  that  the  old  prophets  in 
sheepskins  and  goatskins  took  refuge  in  mountains,  and 
deserts,  and  caves.  They  were  destitute,  afflicted,  tormented. 
They  had  trial  of  cruel  mockings  and  scourgings  and  bonds. 
They  were  stoned,  sawn  asunder,  or  slain  with  a  sword.  The 
Indian  missionaries  get  often  a  truer  idea  of  an  Asiatic  people 
like  the  Jews,  than  those  whose  experience  is  confined  to  the 
West.  Mr.  Ward  has  recorded,  that  in  India,  Elias  can  still 
be  seen  sitting  under  his  tree,  and  the  prophet  disguised  with 
ashes. 

Another  difficulty  is  in  the  way  of  the  Protestant  theory  that 
miraculous  gifts  were  confined  to  the  Hebrews,  and  that  all 
training  in  the  schools  of  the  prophets  was  considered  illusory. 
Many  of  the  most  conspicuous  performers  of  miracles  in  the 
Old  Testament  were  educated  in  Gentile  schools  of  the 
prophets.  Moses  was  trained  in  the  schools  of  Magic,  in 
Egypt.  Joseph  presided  over  those  schools.  Daniel  was 
Rab  Mag,  or  head  of  the  Magicians  of  Babylon.  The  Witch 
of  Endor,  who  recalled  Samuel  from  the  grave,  was  a  Gentile, 
and  so  was  Balaam. 

The  processes  of  the  ascetic  in  Catholic  mysticism  are  the 
same  as  in  all  other  mysticisms.  They  have 

1.  The  "  Contemplation  Cherubique." 

2.  The  Mystical  Union. 

3.  The  "  Oraison  passive." 

The  word  "  union  "  is  the  same  word  as  the  Indian  word 
yoga.  Contemplation  is  defined  to  be  "  the  elevation  of  the 
soul  to  God  by  a  simple  intuition  full  of  admiration  and 
love."  1  The  "  oraison  "  is  half  prayer  half  mystic  dreaminess, 
its  effect  being  to  dull  the  animal  activity. 

1  Migne,  "Dictionnaire  de  Mysticisme." 


SIGNS   AND    WONDERS.  135 

Here  are  some  of  the  spiritual  gifts  that  result  from  these 
processes — 

1.  Mystical  seeing. 

2.  Mystical  hearing. 

3.  Mystical  smelling. 

4.  Discerning  of  spirits,  the  clairvoyance  of  St.  Paul. 

5.  Flight  through  the  air. 

6.  Mystical  preaching. 

7.  Mystical  healing  by  the  laying  on  of  hands,  a  power 
conspicuously  developed  by  the  celebrated  Cure  d'Ars. 

8.  Communication  with  the  spirits  of  the  dead,  as  when 
St.  Martin  was  enabled  to  carry  on  long  conversations  with 
"  Thiele  and  Agnes  and  Mary."     All  these  topics  are  treated 
under  their  various  heads  in  Migne's  "  Dictionnaire  de  Mys- 
ticisme." 

9.  Resurrection  of  the  dead. 

These  "  gifts  "  are  very  like  those  claimed  by  the  Essenes, 
as  already  detailed. 

What  that  sect  meant  by  raising  the  dead  it  is  not  easy  to 
settle.  It  could  scarcely  have  been  conceived  that  the  dead 
man  could  permanently  revive  after  decomposition  has  ac 
tually  set  in.  A  profound  student  of  mysticism,  Francis 
Barrett,  who  lived  at  the  beginning  of  the  century,  wrote  a 
work  entitled  "The  Cabala,"  which  may  help  us  here.  He 
says  that  the  Kabbalists  held  that  there  were  "  two  kinds  of 
necromancy."  The  first  consisted  in  "raising  the  carcasses." 
This,  it  was  conceived,  could  only  be  effected  by  the  effusion 
of  blood,  a  fact  that  lets  in  some  light  on  the  bloody  rites  of 
the  old  creeds.  The  second  process  was  called  Sciomancy, 
"  in  which  the  calling  up  of  the  shadow  only  suffices."  1  The 
learned  gentleman  gives  the  Kabbalistic  rites  by  which  "  the 
seven  governors  of  the  whole  world  according  to  the  seven 
planets  "  are  to  be  invoked,  and  other  beings  "  which  Origen 
called  the  invisible  powers." 2  As  in  Buddhism,  these  rites 
seem  nearly  identical  with  the  sacramental  rites  or  mysteries. 

"  It   is    necessary   that   the    invocant   religiously   dispose 

1 "  The  Cabala,  or  Ceremonial  Magic."  p.  69. 
2  Ibid.,  p.  43. 


136  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

himself  for  the  space  of  many  days  to  such  a  mystery,  and  to 
conceive  himself  during  the  time  chaste,  abstinent,  and  to 
abstract  himself  as  much  as  he  can  from  all  manner  of  foreign 
and  secular  business.  Likewise  he  shall  observe  fasting,  as 
much  as  shall  seem  convenient  to  him."  l  The  "  Kabbalah  " 
enjoins  a  fast  of  forty  days.  "  Now,  concerning  the  place,  it 
must  be  chosen,  clean,  pure,  close,  quiet,  free  from  all  manner 
of  noise,  and  not  subject  to  any  stranger's  sight.  This  place 
must  first  of  all  be  exorcised  and  consecrated  ;  and  let  there 
be  a  table  or  altar  placed  therein,  covered  with  a  clean  white 
linen  cloth,  and  set  towards  the  east ;  and  on  each  side 
thereof  place  two  consecrated  wax  lights  burning,  the  flame 
thereof  ought  not  to  go  out  all  these  days.  In  the  middle  of 
the  altar  let  there  be  placed  lamens  [slips  of  paper  with  the 
ten  great  names  of  God]  covered  with  fine  linen,  which  is  not 
to  be  opened  until  the  end  of  the  days  of  consecration.  You 
shall  also  have  in  readiness  a  precious  perfume,  and  a  pure 
anointing  oil,  and  let  them  both  be  kept  consecrated.  Then 
set  a  censer  on  the  head  of  the  altar,  wherein  you  shall  kindle 
the  holy  fire,  and  make  a  precious  perfume  every  day  that 
you  pray. 

"  Now  for  your  habit,  you  shall  have  a  long  garment  of 
white  linen,  close  before  and  behind,  which  may  come  down 
quite  over  the  feet,  and  gird  yourself  about  the  loins  with 
a  girdle.  You  shall  likewise  have  a  veil  made  of  pure  white 
linen,  on  which  must  be  wrote  in  a  gilt  lamen  the  name 
Tetragrammaton  ;  all  which  things  are  to  be  consecrated  and 
sanctified  in  order.  But  you  must  not  go  into  this  holy  place 
till  it  be  first  washed  and  covered  with  a  cloth  new  and  clean, 
and  then  you  may  enter,  but  with  your  feet  naked  and  bare  ; 
and  when  you  enter  therein  you  shall  sprinkle  with  holy 
water,  then  make  a  perfume  upon  the  altar ;  and  then  on  thy 
knees  pray  before  the  altar  as  we  have  directed. 

"  Now  when  the  time  is  expired,  on  the  last  day,  you 
shall  fast  more  strictly  ;  and  fasting  on  the  day  following,  at 
the  rising  of  the  sun,  enter  the  holy  place,  using  the  cere 
monies  before  spoken  of,  first  by  sprinkling  thyself,  then, 
1  "  Ceremonial  Magic,"  p.  92 


SIGNS  AND    WONDERS.  137 

making  a  perfume,  you  shall  sign  the  cross  with  holy  oil  in 
the  forehead,  and  anoint  your  eyes,  using  prayer  in  all  these 
consecrations.  Then,  open  the  lamen  l  and  pray  before  the 
altar  upon  your  knees  ;  and  then  an  invocation  may  be  made 
as  follows  : — 


"AN  INVOCATION  OF  THE  GOOD  SPIRITS. 

"In  the  name  of  the  blessed  and  Holy  Trinity,  I  do  desire 
thee,  strong  and  mighty  angels  (here  name  the  spirits  you 
would  have  appear),  that  if  it  be  the  divine  will  of  him  who  is 
called  Tetragrammaton,  etc.,  the  holy  God,  the  Father,  that 
thou  take  upon  thee  some  shape  as  best  becometh  thy 
celestial  nature,  and  appear  to  us  visibly  here  in  this  place, 
and  answer  our  demands,  in  as  far  as  we  shall  not  transgress 
the  bounds  of  the  divine  mercy  and  goodness,  by  requesting 
unlawful  knowledge  ;  but  thou  wilt  graciously  shew  us  what 
things  are  most  profitable  for  us  to  know  and  do  to  the  glory 
and  honour  of  his  divine  Majesty,  who  liveth  and  reigneth, 
world  without  end.  Amen. 

"  Lord,  Thy  will  be  done  on  earth  as  it  is  in  heaven ;  make 
clean  our  hearts  within  us,  and  take  not  Thy  holy  spirit  from 
us.  O  Lord,  by  Thy  name  we  have  called  them,  suffer  them 
to  administer  unto  us. 

"  And  that  all  things  may  work  together  for  Thy  honour 
and  glory,  to  whom  with  Thee,  the  Son  and  Blessed  Spirit,  be 
ascribed  all  might,  majesty,  and  dominion,  world  without  end 
Amen." 

This  is  how  a  Buddhist  acquires  magical  powers. 

The  novice  must  select  an  able  teacher.  He  must  be 
shaved,  washed,  cleaned.  Of  particular  importance  is  the 
choice  of  the  place  of  initiation.  It  must  be  without  distinc 
tions,  free  from  the  terrors  of  wild  beasts,  and  haunted  by  the 
spirits  of  the  past  Buddhas. 

The  place  must  be  well  swept  and  otherwise  cleaned ;  and 
fresh  earth   must  be  thrown  upon   it  in   order  to  make   its 
surface  even  and  smooth.     A  magical  circle  of  the  five  sacred 
1  The  lamen  is  the  "  book  "  of  the  Apocalypse. 


138  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

colours  must  be  drawn  in  order  to  overcome  evil  spirits,  who 
will  do  all  they  can  to  mar  the  efforts  of  the  devotee.  Within 
the  circle  an  altar  is  erected,  upon  which  various  vessels  are 
ranged,  rilled  with  grain  and  perfumed  water.  The  cere 
monies  consist  in  the  reciting  of  incantations  and  the  presenta 
tion  of  food  offerings  to  the  good  spirits.  The  incantations 
must  be  recited  slowly,  without  raising  or  lowering  the  voice. 
They  must  be  repeated  something  like  a  hundred  thousand 
times  a  day.  A  rosary  with  108  beads  helps  the  counting. 
A  vajra  (toy  thunderbolt)  all  this  time  must  be  held  tightly 
in  the  hand.  The  spirits  prayed  to  are  Vajrapani,  the  holder 
of  Indra's  thunderbolt.  Sweet  dreams  and  sweet  supernatural 
scents  prelude  the  advent  of  the  supernatural  powers.  In  the 
rite  called  Dubed  the  novice  has  to  fix  his  gaze  on  water  in 
a  vessel  tricked  out  with  knots  of  the  five  sacred  colours.  The 
modern  mesmerist  gains  power  over  a  sensitive  in  a  some 
what  similar  manner.  Vajra  means  "diamond"  as  well  as 
"  thunderbolt,"  and  this  second  idea  has  been  worked  into  the 
first.  The  head  of  the  thunderbolt  is  shaped  like  a  diamond. 
It  is  stated  in  one  passage  of  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  that 
Buddha  indulged  "in  that  ecstatic  meditation  whose  essence 
is  the  diamond."1  The  Buddhists  call  the  spirit  body  the 
"  diamond  body."  2 

THE  TWELVE  DISCIPLES. 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  had  twelve  "  great  disciples." 
"  Only  in  my  religion,"  he  said  solemnly  a  little  before  he 
died,  "can  be  found  the  twelve  great  disciples  who  practise 
the  highest  virtues  and  excite  the  world  to  free  itself  from  its 
torments."3  These  twelve  great  disciples  are  the  Buddhas 
who  figure  round  the  great  statue  of  Buddha  on  Buddhist 
altars.  He  had  sixty  minor  disciples,  and  Christ  seventy. 
In  the  view  of  Mosheim  "Christ  appointed  seventy,  just  equal 
in  number  to  the  senators  composing  the  Sanhedrim,  to  show 

1  See  p.  206. 

2  For  details  of  initiation,   see    Suba.hu  Pariprichcha,  Schlagintweit, 
"  Buddhism  in  Tibet,"  p.  242. 

3  Bigandet,  p.  301. 


S7GMS  AND    WONDERS.  139 

that  the  authority  of  the  regular  Sanhedrim  was  at  an  end, 
and  that  He  was  Supreme  Lord  and  Pontiff  of  the  whole 
Hebrew  race." l 

The  word  "apostle"  designated  the  shoeless  wandering 
missionary  of  Christianity  ;  but  it  was  also  used  to  describe 
the  stationary  councillors  round  the  head  of  the  Church.  The 
twelve  apostles,  according  to  Renan,  were  not  missionaries, 
but  remained  at  Jerusalem.  After  the  taking  of  that  city, 
even  the  orthodox  Jews  used  the  word  "  apostle  "  to  designate 
the  council  round  their  patriarch.2  The  Essene  Sanhedrim 
abrogated  to  itself  the  power  of  inflicting  death  (to  the 
blasphemer)  and  excommunication,  a  punishment  which, 
according  to  Josephus,  was  almost  its  equivalent.  That 
Christ  had  His  Sanhedrim  at  an  early  date  is  manifest  from 
more  than  one  passage  in  the  New  Testament— 

"And  if  he  neglect  to  hear  them,  tell  it  unto  the  Church 
[assembly]  :  but  if  he  neglect  to  hear  the  Church,  let  him  be 
as  a  heathen  man  and  a  publican"  (Matt,  xviii.  17). 

"  Dare  any  of  you,  having  a  matter  against  another,  go  to 
law  before  the  unjust,  and  not  before  the  saints?"  (i  Cor. 
vi.  i). 

If  Christ  thus  took  over  the  Essene  Sanhedrim  and  set  up 
a  government  with  the  avowed  purpose  of  superseding  that 
of  the  dominant  Jews,  it  is  difficult  to  see  how  He  can  be 
held,  when  speaking  of  "every  jot  and  tittle  of  the  law,"  to 
have  alluded  to  the  law  as  interpreted  by  the  historical 
Sanhedrim. 

"GO   YE   INTO   ALL   THE   WORLD." 

Professor  Rhys  Davids  has  pointed  out  the  fact  that 
Buddha's  great  object  was  to  found  a  "  kingdom  of  righteous 
ness  "  3  (dharma  chakra)  on  earth.  From  Benares,  in  the  first 
year  of  his  ministry,  he  sent  forth  his  sixty  disciples  on  the 
work  of  propagandism — 

"  Depart  each  man  in  a  different  direction,  no  two  on  the 

1  Mosheim,  vol.  i.  p.  33. 

2  Lightfoot,  "  Epistle  to  the  Galatians,"  p.  93. 

3  "  Birth  Stories,"  p.  69. 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

same   road.     Let   each  preach  dharma   to   all   men   without 
exception  "  1  (see  Plate  V.). 

Let  us  note  what  commands  Christ  gave  to  His  disciples— 
"  Go  not  into  the  way  of  the  Gentiles,  and  into  any  city 
of  the   Samaritans  enter  ye   not :  but  go  rather  to   the  lost 
sheep  of  the  house  of  Israel.     And  as  ye  go,  preach,  saying, 
The  kingdom  of  heaven  is  at  hand.     Heal  the  sick,  cleanse 
the  lepers,   raise  the  dead,  cast  out  devils:   freely  ye  have 
received,   freely  give.     Provide    neither  gold,  nor  silver,   nor 
brass  in  your  purses,  nor  scrip  for  your  journey,  neither  two 
coats,    neither   shoes,  nor   yet    staves:    for   the   workman    is 
worthy  of  his  meat.     And  into  whatsoever  city  or  town  ye 
shall  enter,  enquire  who  in  it  is  worthy  ;  and  there  abide  till 
ye  go  thence.     And  when  ye  come  into  an  house,  salute  it. 
And  if  the  house  be  worthy,  let  your  peace  come  upon  it : 
but  if  it  be  not  worthy,  let  your  peace  return  to  you.     And 
whosoever  shall  not  receive  you,  nor  hear  your  words,  when 
ye   depart  out  of  that  house  or  city,  shake  off  the  dust  of 
your  feet.     Verily  I  say  unto  you,  It  shall  be  more  tolerable 
for  the  land  of  Sodom  and  Gomorrha  in  the  day  of  judgment 
than  for  that  city.     Behold,  I  send  you  forth  as  sheep  in  the 
midst  of  wolves  :  be  ye  therefore  wise  as  serpents,  and  harm 
less  as  doves.     But  beware  of  men  :  for  they  will  deliver  you 
up  to  the  councils,  and  they  will  scourge  you  in  their  syna 
gogues  ;  and  ye  shall  be  brought  before  governors  and  kings 
for  my  sake,  for  a  testimony  against  them  and  the  Gentiles, 
But  when  they  deliver  you  up,  take  no  thought  how  or  what 
ye  shall  speak  :  for  it  shall  be  given  you  in  that  same  hour 
what  ye  shall  speak.     But  it  is  not  ye  that  speak,  but  the 
Spirit    of  your    Father    which    speaketh    in   you.      And    the 
brother  shall  deliver  up  the  brother  to  death,  and  the  father 
the  child  :  and  the  children  shall  rise  up  against  their  parents, 
and  cause  them  to  be  put  to  death.     And  ye  shall  be  hated 
of  all  men  for  My  name's  sake :  but  he  that  endureth  to  the 
end   shall   be  saved.     But  when   they  persecute  you  in  this 
city,  flee  ye  into  another :  for  verily  I  say  unto  you,  Ye  shall 
not  have  gone  over  the  cities  of  Israel,  till  the  Son  of  man  be 
1  Bigandet,  p.  126. 


PLATE  V. 


,/f    \-".s 
ty-  Sjf 


BUDDHA    PREACHING. 

from  Ainaravat'i . 


[Page  140. 


SIGNS  AND    WONDERS.  14! 

come.  The  disciple  is  not  above  his  master,  nor  the  servant 
above  his  lord.  It  is  enough  for  the  disciple  that  he  be  as  his 
master,  and  the  servant  as  his  lord.  If  they  have  called  the 
master  of  the  house  Beelzebub,  how  much  more  shall  they 
call  them  of  his  household  ?  Fear  them  not  therefore  :  for 
there  is  nothing  covered,  that  shall  not  be  revealed  ;  and  hid, 
that  shall  not  be  known.  What  I  tell  you  in  darkness,  that 
speak  ye  in  light :  and  what  ye  hear  in  the  ear,  that  preach 
ye  upon  the  housetops.  And  fear  not  them  which  kill  the 
body,  but  are  not  able  to  kill  the  soul :  but  rather  fear  him 
which  .is  able  to  destroy  both  soul  and  body  in  hell.  Are  not 
two  sparrows  sold  for  a  farthing?  and  one  of  them  shall 
not  fall  on  the  ground  without  your  Father.  But  the  very 
hairs  of  your  head  are  all  numbered.  Fear  ye  not  therefore, 
ye  are  of  more  value  than  many  sparrows.  Whosoever  there 
fore  shall  confess  Me  before  men,  him  will  I  confess  also  before 
My  Father  which  is  in  heaven.  But  whosoever  shall  deny  Me 
before  men,  him  will  I  also  deny  before  My  Father  which  is 
in  heaven.  Think  not  that  I  am  come  to  send  peace  on 
earth :  I  came  not  to  send  peace,  but  a  sword.  For  I  am 
come  to  set  a  man  at  variance  against  his  father,  and  the 
daughter  against  her  mother,  and  the  daughter-in-law  against 
her  mother-in-law"  (Matt.  x.  5-35). 

The  Essenism  of  this  passage  is  very  remarkable,  Jesus 
using  at  times  the  very  words  of  John.  His  disciples  are  to 
be  without  money  or  two  coats  or  shoes,  like  the  barefooted 
Essenes.  Also  He  says  not  a  word  about  His  divinity  as  in 
the  Gospel  of  St.  John,  but  tells  His  disciples  to  deliver  the 
same  gospel  as  John  and  the  Book  of  Adam,  the  gospel  of 
the  kingdom  of  light. 

Another  point  is  remarkable.  No  Christian  disciple  had 
yet  begun  to  preach,  and  yet  what  do  we  find  ?  A  vast  secret 
organization  in  every  city.  It  is  composed  of  those  who  "  are 
worthy"  (the  word  used  by  Josephus  for  Essene  initiates, 
see  ante^  p.  107),  and  they  are  plainly  bound  to  succour  the 
brethren  at  the  risk  of  their  lives.  "  Peace  be  with  you  !  " 
was  the  password,  says  the  author  of  "Jesus  Bouddha."  It 
is  remarkable  that  this  mystic  greeting  is  also  in  the  "  Book 


I42  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

of  Adam."  ]  And  we  find  likewise  that  a  vast  organization 
of  persecution  is  already  afoot,  with  its  councils,  and  scourg- 
ings,  and  stonings,  and  martyrdom.  I  think  this  is  as  strong 
a  fact  as  we  can  have.  The  brethren  were  infringing  the 
Jewish  law  as  interpreted  by  the  dominant  party.  Thauma- 
turgic  healing  and  exorcisms  were  called  witchcraft,  raising 
the  dead  necromancy,  speaking  with  the  afflatus  of  the  spirit 
possession. 

An  orthodox  Jew,  instead  of  succouring  such,  was  bound 
by  his  law  to  help  the  recognized  authorities  to  bring  them 
to  justice.  And  yet  it  is  announced  that  the  crime  of  Sodom 
and  Gomorrha  was  as  nothing  to  such  an  act.  Plainly  those 
that  were  "worthy"  were  not  purblind  Jews,  but  initiated 
children  of  light,  who  had  taken  fearful  vows  to  obey  the 
Grand  Master. 

And  here  I  must  point  out  that,  until  I  had  made  a  study 
of  Buddhism,  I  was  quite  unable  to  piece  together  the  some 
what  contradictory  accounts  that  have  come  down  to  us  of 
the  Essenes  and  their  monasteries.  Josephus  describes  them 
as  congregated  herdsmen  and  diggers.  Philo  paints  them  as 
communities  of  ascetics  engaged  in  what  he  calls  the  "con 
templation  of  the  Divine  Essence."  Pliny  shows  them  to  us 
as  a  large  section  of  the  Jews,  recruited  entirely  by  propa- 
gandism.  Then,  too,  although  Josephus  tells  us  they  "  shunned 
cities,"  it  is  plain,  from  the  numbers  that  could  be  ferreted  out 
by  the  secret  police  at  Jerusalem  in  the  early  days  of  St. 
Paul,  that  many  after  their  initiation  went  back  to  civil  life, 
like  Philo  and  Josephus.  This  probably  was  the  class  that, 
according  to  the  latter,  might  have  wives  and  children. 

But  my  study  of  Buddhism  threw  light  upon  this  subject. 
When  that  religion  was  chased  from  India,  the  acharya  of  the 
great  Buddhist  convent  at  Nalanda,  the  "  high  priest  of  all 
the  world,"  as  he  is  called  in  the  Mahawanso,  took  refuge  in 
Tibet.  As  the  Grand  Lama  he  is  still  acknowledged  to  be  the 
head  of  the  Buddhist  Church  by  the  Chinese,  the  Japanese, 
and  the  Tartars.  This  gives  to  the  Buddhism  of  Tibet  an 
exceptional  value. 

1  Page  126. 


SIGNS  AND    WONDERS.  143 

According  to  the  Abbe  Hue,1  the  Buddhist  lamas  in  those 
regions  may  be  divided  into  four  classes — 

1.  Those  dwelling   in  the  Lama  Serais,  and   serving  the 
temples. 

2.  Inferior  lamas  told  off  to    attend    to  the   herds,    etc., 
belonging  to  the  Lama  Serais. 

3.  Lamas  who  have  undergone  the  initiation,   but   have 
found  that  they  have  no  vocation,  and  have  returned  to  civil 
life. 

4.  The   wandering   lamas,    whose    tent,    as  they    prettily 
term  it,  is  the  starry  tent  of  Buddha. 

These  men,  each  with  no  luggage  besides  a  stout  staff, 
wander  all  over  Tartary,  Mongolia,  Turkestan.  They  plunge 
into  deserts,  "  sleep  under  a  rock,  or  on  the  icy  peak  of  a 
mountain,"  obeying  no  impulse  except  a  fervid  passion  for 
a  fresh  start  each  morning.  Sometimes  a  Tartar  gives  them 
a  cup  of  tea,  stirred  up  with  a  few  pinches  of  flour.  Some 
times  they  sleep  for  one  night  in  a  corner  of  a  Tartar  tent. 
These  men  are  of  the  pattern  of  the  formidable  Parivrajakas, 
that  first  preached  dharma  to  humanity ;  and  they  account 
for  the  marvellous  spread  of  Buddhism.  Also,  I  think,  they 
throw  a  side-light  on  the  shoeless  "  apostles  "  sent  forth  by 
Christ. 

1  "  Voyage  dans  la  Tartarie,  le  Thibet,  et  la  Chine,"  vol.  i.  p.  189. 


144  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

Essenism  in  the  Bible — Continence  exacted  with  Communism,  Vege 
tarianism,  and  Water-drinking — "Follow  Me" — The  Voice  in  the 
Sky— The  King  of  Remedies— The  Buddhist  "Sermon  on  the 
Mount" — The  Buddhist  Beatitudes — The  New  Commandment. 

I  WILL  write  down  a  few  more  texts  that  show  Essenism  in 
the  New  Testament. 

A  RELIGIOUS  COMMUNITY  ESTABLISHED  OF  THOSE  WHO 
HAVE  OBTAINED  THE  GNOSIS,  OR  KNOWLEDGE  OF 
THE  MYSTERIES  OF  THE  KINGDOM  OF  HEAVEN. 

"  It  is  given  to  you  to  know  the  mysteries  of  the  kingdom 
of  heaven"  (Matt.  xiii.  11). 

"The  kingdom  of  God  is  come  unto  you"  (Matt.  xii.  28). 
"The  kingdom  of  God  is  within  you"  (Luke  xvii.  21). 

BAPTISM  PRECEDED  BY  CONFESSION  OF  SINS,  THE 
INITIATION  INTO  THIS  SOCIETY. 

"And  were  baptised  of  him  [John]  in  Jordan,  confessing 
their  sins  "  (Matt.  iii.  6). 

"  And  Jesus,  when  He  was  baptized,  went  up  straightway 
out  of  the  water  ;  and  lo !  the  heavens  were  opened  to  Him, 
and  He  saw  the  Spirit  of  God  descending  like  a  dove  and 
lighting  upon  Him"  (Matt.  iii.  16). 

"  When  they  heard  this,  they  were  baptized  in  the  name 
of  the  Lord  Jesus;  and  when  Paul  had  laid  his  hands  upon 
them,  the  Holy  Ghost  came  on  them,  and  they  spake  with 
tongues  and  prophesied  "  (Acts  xix.  5,  6). 


ESSENISM  IN  THE  BIBLE,  145 

NEW  NAME  ON  CONVERSION. 

"  Thou  shalt  be  called  Cephas,  which  is  by  interpretation 
a  stone  "  (John  i.  42). 

"Lebaeus,  whose  surname  was  Thaddeus  "  (Matt.  x.  3). 

FASTING  A  NECESSARY  INITIATION. 

"Howbeit  this  kind  goeth  not  out  but  by  prayer  and 
fasting"  (Matt.  xvii.  21). 

"  But  thou,  when  thou  fastest,  anoint  thy  head  and  wash 
thy  face"  (Matt.  vi.  17). 

COMMUNITY  OF  GOODS. 

"And  all  that  believed  were  together,  and  had  all  things 
common  "  (Acts  ii.  44). 

"  If  thou  wilt  be  perfect,  go  and  sell  that  thou  hast,  and 
give  to  the  poor,  and  thou  shalt  have  treasure  in  heaven :  and 
come  and  follow  Me"  (Matt.  xix.  21). 

"  For  some  of  them  thought  that,  because  Judas  had  the 
bag,  that  Jesus  had  said  to  him,  Buy  those  things  we  have 
need  of  against  the  feast "  (John  xiii.  29). 

OATHS  PROHIBITED  AS  IN  ESSENISM. 
"  Swear  not  at  all "  (Matt.  v.  34). 

A  RIGID  CONTINENCE  EXACTED. 

"  All  men  cannot  receive  this  saying,  save  they  to  whom 
it  is  given.  .  .  .  There  be  eunuchs  which  have  made  them 
selves  eunuchs  for  the  kingdom  of  heaven's  sake.  He  that  is 
able  to  receive  it,  let  him  receive  it"  (Matt  xix.  n,  12). 

"And   I  looked,  and   lo !  a  Lamb  stood  on    the  Mount 
Sion,  and  with    Him    an  hundred  forty  and  four  thousand, 
having  His    Father's    name  written   on  their  foreheads. 
These  are  they  which  were  not  defiled  with  women,  for  they 
are  virgins  "  (Rev.  xiv.  i,  4). 

WINE  AND  FLESH-MEAT  FORBIDDEN. 
On  the  subject  of  flesh-meat  and  wine,   I  will   now  cite 
some  verses  of  a  remarkable  chapter  (Rom.  xiv.).     St.  Paul 

L 


146  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

had  not  yet  visited  the  eternal  city,  but  some  earlier  Christian 
missionaries  had.  Thus  two  parties  had  sprung  up  amongst 
the  converts,  a  party  opposed  to  the  consumption  of  flesh- 
meat  and  wine,  and  a  second  party,  St.  Paul's  own  converts. 
The  second  party  was  plainly  the  smaller  party,  as  it  is 
alluded  to  as  a  "remnant  according  to  the  election  of 
grace." 1 

"The  Church  of  Rome,"  says  Renan,  alluding  to  the 
earlier  missionaries,  "was  a  Jewish  Christian  foundation, 
indirect  connection  with  the  Church  of  Jerusalem."2  In  a 
word,  it  was  the  chief  stronghold  outside  the  Jewish  capital 
of  the  Petrine  party,  and  the  usual  controversy  on  the  subject 
of  " works"  and  "grace"  had  apparently  arisen  in  the  Roman 
capital  between  the  Pauline  and  the  Petrine  party.  The 
former  had  plainly  appealed  to  their  leader  upon  the  points 
under  discussion. 

"  I  say  then,  Hath  God  cast  away  His  people  ?  God  forbid. 
For  I  also  am  an  Israelite,  of  the  seed  of  Abraham,  of  the 
tribe  of  Benjamin.  God  hath  not  cast  away  His  people  which 
He  foreknew.  Wot  ye  not  what  the  Scripture  saith  of  Elias  ? 
how  he  maketh  intercession  to  God  against  Israel,  saying, 
Lord,  they  have  killed  Thy  prophets,  and  digged  down  Thine 
altars  ;  and  I  am  left  alone,  and  they  seek  my  life.  But  what 
saith  the  answer  of  God  unto  him  ?  I  have  reserved  to  Myself 
seven  thousand  men,  who  have  not  bowed  the  knee  to  the 
image  of  Baal.  Even  so  then  at  this  present  time  also  there 
is  a  remnant  according  to  the  election  of  grace.  And  if  by 
grace,  then  is  it  no  more  of  works  :  otherwise  grace  is  no 
more  grace.  But  if  it  be  of  works,  then  is  it  no  more  grace  : 
otherwise  work  is  no  more  work." 

This  passage  shows  that  by  deeds  of  the  Law  St.  Paul 
meant  the  Law  as  interpreted  by  Peter ;  for  the  whole  con 
troversy  in  Rome,  as  we  shall  see,  rolled  upon  the  question 
whether  meat  or  herbs  only  should  be  consumed,  and  water 
drunk  or  wine. 

Now  I  am  willing  to  stake  the  whole  case  of  the  Essenism 
of  early  Christianity  on  St.  Paul's  answer.    That  is  the  crucial 
1  Rom.  xi.  5.  2  "  Conferences  d'Angleterre,"  p.  65. 


ESSEN1SM  IN  THE  BIBLE.  147 

point.  In  the  view  of  Bishop  Lightfoot,  Christianity  was  a 
great  anti-mystical  and  anti-ascetic  movement,  which  had 
substituted  wine  for  water  in  the  daily  sacramental  dinner 
of  the  Nazarenes.  Is  it  not  perfectly  plain  that  if  St.  Paul 
had  been  aware  of  this  fact,  his  reply  would  have  been  quite 
triumphant?  He  would  have  pointed  to  the  solemn  injunc 
tions  of  the  Master,  and  condemned  the  innovating  party  in 
no  measured  terms.  Instead  of  this,  what  do  we  find  ?  He 
orders  his  disciples  at  Rome  to  drink  nothing  but  water. 
Furthermore,  he  orders  them  to  eat  nothing  but  "  herbs,"  no 
animal  food.  He  ought,  of  course,  to  have  been  aware,  as 
pointed  out  by  Bishop  Lightfoot,  that  Christ  at  His  model 
supper  ate  lamb.  But  it  seems  that  St.  Paul  was  not  aware 
of  this  fact. 

"  Him  that  is  weak  in  the  faith  receive  ye,  but  not  to 
doubtful  disputations.  For  one  believeth  that  he  may  eat  all 
things  :  another,  who  is  weak,  eateth  herbs.  Let  not  him  that 
eateth  despise  him  that  eateth  not ;  and  let  not  him  which 
eateth  not  judge  him  that  eateth  :  for  God  hath  received  him. 
One  man  esteemeth  one  day  above  another:  another  esteemeth 
every  day  alike.  Let  every  man  be  fully  persuaded  in  his  own 
mind.  He  that  regardeth  the  day,  regardeth  it  unto  the  Lord ; 
and  he  that  regardeth  not  the  day,  to  the  Lord  he  doth  not 
regard  it.  He  that  eateth,  eateth  to  the  Lord,  for  he  giveth 
God  thanks ;  and  he  that  eateth  not,  to  the  Lord  he  eateth 
not,  and  giveth  God  thanks.  Let  us  not  therefore  judge  one 
another  any  more :  but  judge  this  rather,  that  no  man  put 
a  stumbling-block  or  an  occasion  to  fall  in  his  brother's  way. 
I  know,  and  am  persuaded  by  the  Lord  Jesus,  that  there  is 
nothing  unclean  of  itself:  but  to  him  that  esteemeth  anything 
to  be  unclean,  to  him  it  is  unclean.  But  if  thy  brother  be 
grieved  with  thy  meat,  now  walkest  thou  not  charitably. 
Destroy  not  him  with  thy  meat,  for  whom  Christ  died.  Let 
not  then  your  good  be  evil  spoken  of:  For  the  kingdom  of 
God  is  not  meat  and  drink  ;  but  righteousness,  and  peace,  and 
joy  in  the  Holy  Ghost.  For  he  that  in  these  things  serveth 
Christ  is  acceptable  to  God,  and  approved  of  men.  Let  us 
therefore  follow  after  the  things  which  make  for  peace,  and 


148  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

things  wherewith  one  may  edify  another.  For  meat  destroy 
not  the  work  of  God.  All  things  indeed  are  pure ;  but  it  is 
evil  for  that  man  who  eateth  with  offence.  It  is  good  neither 
to  eat  flesh,  nor  to  drink  wine,  nor  any  thing  whereby  thy 
brother  stumbleth,  or  is  offended,  or  is  made  weak.  Hast 
thou  faith?  have  it  to  thyself  before  God.  Happy  is  he  that 
condemneth  not  himself  in  that  thing  which  he  alloweth. 
And  he  that  doubteth  is  damned  if  he  eat,  because  he  eateth 
not  of  faith  :  for  whatsoever  is  not  of  faith  is  sin." 

It  is  to  be  observed,  too,  that  St.  Paul  advises  Bishop 
Timothy  to  "use  a  little  wine  for  his  stomach's  sake" 
(i  Tim.  v.). 

This  is  most  important.  A  recently  recovered  work,  the 
"  Teaching  of  the  Twelve  Apostles,"  has  put  beyond  question 
the  fact  that  the  sacramentum  or  mysterion  of  the  early 
Church  was  identical  with  the  daily  dinner  of  the  brethren  as 
with  the  Essenes  and  Therapeuts.  But  Bishop  Timothy  was 
plainly  accustomed  to  celebrate  it  with  water.  Is  not  this  a 
complete  proof  that  he  knew  nothing  of  Christ's  command,  to 
use  the  "  fruit  of  the  vine  "  in  the  sacramentum  ?  Consider 
also  the  reason  that  St.  Paul  gives  for  the  change.  Had  he 
been  aware  of  what  is  now  reported  to  have  occurred  at  the 
last  supper,  would  he  have  merely  urged  a  change  to  wine 
on  the  utilitarian  grounds  here  urged  ?  "  For  thy  stomach's 
sake,  and  thine  often  infirmities  ! " 

This  puts  us  in  a  better  position  to  consider  the  controversy 
which  raged  in  the  second  century,  when  Tatian  protested 
against  the  introduction  of  wine  at  the  altar  as  being  part  and 
parcel  of  a  great  scheme  to  destroy  the  spirituality  of  the 
Christian  movement. 

"  Ye  gave  the  Nazarite  wine  to  drink,  and  commanded  the 
prophets  saying,  Prophesy  not !  " 

St.  Jerome  for  this  has  branded  him  as  an  innovator,  and 
attributed  the  Encratites  and  other  water-drinking  communi 
ties  then  confessedly  existing  in  the  Church  to  his  teaching. 
But  this  charge  will  not  bear  a  moment's  scrutiny.  The  four 
teenth  chapter  of  Romans  shows  that  as  early  as  the  visit  of 
Paul  to  Rome  water  was  used  in  the  Roman  Church. 


ESSENISM  IN  THE  BIBLE.  149 

This  brings  us  to  the  passages  describing  the  institution  of 
the  sacrament.  St.-  Paul,  who  is  first  in  the  field,  confesses 
that  he  received  the  account  he  gives  of  it  "  of  the  Lord,"  that 
is,  in  visions,  and  not  historically.  He  says  not  a  single  word 
of  the  cup  containing  wine.  On  the  contrary,  in  the  previous 
chapter,  in  attempting  to  derive  the  Christian  rites  from  Moses, 
he  says  distinctly  that  the  followers  of  Moses  and  Christ  had 
the  "same  spiritual  drink,"  namely,  the  "Rock,"  which  is 
Christ, l  that  is,  of  course,  water. 

This  account,  confessedly  derived  from  the  visions  of  St. 
Paul,  is  copied  in  the  synoptic  gospels,  with  this  additional 
verse — 

"  Verily  I  say  unto  you,  I  will  drink  no  more  of  the  fruit 
of  the  vine  until  that  day  that  I  drink  it  new  in  the  kingdom 
of  God." 

It  is  to  be  remarked,  however,  that  the  passage  is  so 
clumsily  put  in  in  St.  Luke,  that  a  second  account  of  Christ's 
words  when  delivering  the  cup  has  been  left,  in  which  there 
is  not  a  word  about  the  "  fruit  of  the  vine."  It  is  announced 
also  that  the  disciples  were  heralded  into  the  guest  chamber 
by  a  man  bearing  a  pitcher  of  water. 

Another  strong  fact  may  be  mentioned.  Tatian  composed 
a  harmony  of  the  four  Gospels  ;  and  Tatian  maintained  that 
the  use  of  wine  was  an  innovation.  It  is  evident,  therefore, 
that  in  the  four  gospels,  as  known  to  him,  the  passages  about 
the  "  wine-bibber  "  and  the  "  fruit  of  the  vine  "  were  not  to  be 
found  ;  or  he  would  not  have  gone  to  the  trouble  of  harmo 
nizing  gospels  which  disproved  his  main  thesis,  but  would 
have  taken  his  stand  on  the  gospels  of  the  gnostics.  Tatian's 
"  Harmony "  was  afterwards  pronounced  to  contain  added 
heretical  matter,  and  was  destroyed.  This  is  silly  ;  for  the 
composition  of  a  diatesseron  or  harmony  is  the  one  literary 
feat  where  the  addition  of  spurious  matter  is  impossible.  A 
"harmony"  implies  a  scrupulous  respect  for  the  text.  The 
charge  confesses  change,  but  proves  that  that  change  must 
have  been  subsequent. 

One  more  piece  of  important  evidence,  and  then  I  ha\e 

1  i  Cor.  x.  4. 


150  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

done.  The  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom,  as  given  by  Dr.  Neale 
and  Dr.  Littledale,1  shows  that  warm  water  was  the  ingredient 
of  the  cup  when  it  was  composed. 

"  Sir,  fill  the  holy  cup,"  says  the  deacon,  plainly  showing 

that  at  this  moment  it  was  empty.     A  piece  of  bread  is  then 

placed  in  it,  and  warm  water.     I  will  write  down  the  passage — 

"  After   the  priest  has  broken  the   holy  bread    into  four 

portions,  he  exclaims, 

"  *  The  Lamb  of  God  is  broken  and  distributed.  He  that 
is  broken  and  not  divided  in  sunder,  ever  eaten  and  never 
consumed,  but  sanctifying  the  communicants.' 

"And  the  deacon,  pointing  with  his  orarion  to  the  holy  cup, 
saith, 

" '  Sir,  fill  the  holy  cup/ 

"  And  the  priest,  taking  the  upper  portion  (that  is  the 
I.H.C.),  makes  with  it  a  cross  above  the  holy  cup,  saying, 

"  <  The  fulness  of  the  cup  of  faith,  of  the  Holy  Ghost,'  and 
thus  puts  it  into  the  holy  cup. 
" Deacon,  'Amen.' 

"  And  taking  the  WARM  WATER  he  saith  to  the  priest, 
" '  Sir,  bless  the  warm  water.'  "  2 

After  this  the  warm  water  is  poured  into  the  cup  ;  and 
nowhere  is  any  mention  of  wine.  Had  wine  been  used,  it 
would  have  also  been  blessed. 

Then  a  priori  what  conceivable  reason  could  have  made 
Jesus  change  the  main  Essene  rite?  He  and  His  followers 
were  so  pursued  and  persecuted,  that  he  envied  the  secure 
crannies  of  the  fox  (jackal)  and  the  birds  of  the  air.  Why 
order  a  daily  consumption  of  wine  under  such  circumstances, 
when  even  cisterns  of  water  in  the  craggy  wastes  must  have 
been  hard  enough  to  find  ? 

The  Nazarites,  or  Nazarenes,  were  characterized  from  the 
outside  by  a  special  mark — a  vow  to  drink  nothing  but  water. 
Why  suddenly  introduce  a  change  which  would  place  before 
each  disciple  the  cruel  dilemma  of  disobedience  or  perjury  ? 
On  the  other  hand,  the  motives  of  Pope  Victor  and  his  succes- 

1  Neale  and  Littledale,  "Liturgies  of  the  Greek  Church,"  p.  120. 

2  Ibid. 


ESSENISM  IN  THE  BIBLE.  I  5  I 

sors  are  patent  enough.  They  were  going  to  restore  Pontifex 
Maximus  and  the  Roman  worship  of  Bacchus,  calling  Bacchus 
"  Christ."  They  were  going  to  give  to  the  victorious  Christians 
the  victory  of  terminology  alone,  but  to  the  pagans  the  victory 
of  ideas.  "  The  Pope  is  the  ghost  of  the  deceased  Roman 
empire,"  said  Hobbes,  "sitting  crowned  upon  the  grave 
thereof." 

"  FOLLOW  ME  ! " 

Buddha  called  his  disciples  with  precisely  the  same  words 
as  Jesus.  Almost  his  earliest  converts  were  thirty  profligate 
nobleman  in  the  Kappasya  jangal.  He  said  to  them,  "  Follow 
me  !  "  and  they  abandoned  their  lemans.  He  then  converted 
three  Hindu  ascetics  and  all  their  followers.  "  He  received 
them,"  says  Dr.  Rhys  Davids,  in  his  translation,  "  into  the 
order  with  the  formula,  Follow  me  !  " 

These  words  have  received  an  extended  meaning  since 
those  days.  Nuns  have  their  "  vocation  "  and  the  disciples  of 
Wesley  their  mystic  "  call."  Zacchseus  under  his  fig  tree,  like 
the  Catholic  saint,  St.  John  of  the  Cross,  before  his  crucifix, 
calls  aloud,  "  Seigneur,  faites  que  je  vois  ! "  and,  lo,  the  Christ 
appears. 

"THE  SAME  CAME  TO  JESUS  BY  NIGHT." 
Professor  Rhys  Davids  points  out  that  Yasas,  a  rich  young 
man,  came  to  Buddha  by  night,  for  fear  of  his  rich  relations. 
Buddha  spoke  to  him  of  love,  of  virtue,  of  heaven  (swarga), 
and  of  the  way  to  salvation,  and  made  him  a  convert.2 

"  THE  KING  OF  REMEDIES." 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  is  the  Great  Physician  who  heals  all 
sicknesses,  bodily  and  mental.  In  China,  he  is  called  the 
"  Unsurpassable  Doctor  ; "  in  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  the  "  King 
of  Remedies."  3  He  visits  the  sick  man  Su-ta,  and  heals  his 
soul  as  well  as  his  body.4  At  Vaisali,  likewise,  he  performs  a 

1  "Birth  Stories,"  p.  114. 

2  See  "  Tibetan  Life,"  by  Rockhill,  p.  38. 

3  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  99.  4  "  Chinese  Dhammapada,"  p.  47- 


152  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

very  miraculous  act.  This  city  was  afflicted  with  a  pestilence 
something  like  modern  cholera.  It  was  due  to  a  number  of 
corpses  festering  on  the  river's  bank.  An  appeal  is  made  to 
Buddha,  and  he  comes  and  dispels  the  pestilence  with  a 
strong  wind.1  A  disciple  has  his  feet  hacked  off  by  an  unjust 
king,  and  Buddha  cures  even  him.2  King  Suddhodana  is  on 
the  point  of  death.  Buddha  forms  a  sort  of  mesmeric  chain 
round  him,  with  the  co-operation  of  four  disciples,  and  arrests 
his  malady.3 

To  all  who  have  been  in  the  East  the  gospel  recitals  of 
healings  and  the  casting  out  of  devils  are  very  lifelike,  the 
twanging  of  rude  instruments,  "  the  minstrels  and  the  people 
making  a  noise."  And  sober  travellers  in  Buddhist  countries 
record  many  genuine  cures.  The  Abbe  Hue  describes  an  old 
woman  sick  of  a  rgrievous  fever  in  the  Valley  of  the  Black 
Waters.  The  only  doctors  known  in  those  regions,  he  tells  us, 
Avere  in  the  Buddhist  lamaseries  ;  and  if  the  case  is  pro 
nounced  a  grave  one,  or,  in  the  language  of  the  country,  if  a 
tchutgour,  or  devil,  is  in  possession  of  the  sick  person,  a 
strong  array  of  Buddhist  monks,  with  rude  Tartar  music,  and 
scents  and  psalms,  is  despatched,  with  bell  and  book  and 
candle.  Eight  lamas  arrived,  and  thoroughly  and  instan 
taneously  cured  the  old  woman,  says  the  Abbe.4  In  the  old 
volumes  of  travels  of  Ribeyro  and  Knox  in  Ceylon  are 
many  wonderful  narratives.  Grievous  choleraic  pains  were 
removed  whilst  the  patient,  lying  on  his  back,  was  touched  by 
the  Buddhist  sramana,  before  a  short  hymn  to  Buddha  had 
finished  its  echoes.  The  bites  of  venomous  snakes  were 
rendered  harmless,  not  once  but  many  times.  A  demoniacal 
possession  called  Lycanthropy,  very  prevalent  in  the  island, 
was  always  cured.5 

This  brings  me  to  a  passage  in  the  "  Travels  "  of  Abbe 
Hue,  which  seems  to  me  to  throw  much  light  on  the  disputa 
tion  with  the  doctors  as  recorded  in  the  lives  of  both  Christ 

1  Bigandet,  p.  186.  2  Burnouf,  Introduction,  etc.,  p.  156. 

3  Bigandet,  p.  192. 

4  "  Voyage  dans  la  Tartarie,"  torn.  i.  chap.  ii. 

5  See  "  Ceremonies  Religieuses,"  by  Picart,  vol.  vii.  pp.  143,  et  seq. 


ESSENISM  IN  THE  BIBLE,  153 

and  Buddha.  In  Tibet,  the  novice,  to  strengthen  his  dialectics, 
is  set  up  before  a  conclave  of  doctors  learned  in  the  four 
great  branches  of  knowledge — namely,  mysticism,  medicine, 
liturgy,  and  prayers,— and  is  pelted  with  questions.  He,  on  his 
side,  is  allowed  to  start  all  sorts  of  fantastic  inquiries.  "  There 
is  nothing  so  monstrous  as  these  disquisitions,"  says  the  Abbe, 
"  which  suggest  the  discussions  of  the  Middle  Ages."  x  But  a 
friend  of  mine  tells  me  that  young  Jesuits  have  precisely  the 
same  method  of  training — logomachies,  where  such  topics  as 
the  immaculate  conception  are  very  freely  handled. 

All  this  seems  of  great  importance  in  settling  the  question 
whether  or  not  Christ  was  an  Essene.  Such  training  would 
be  quite  out  of  place  in  the  Mosaism  of  the  Bloody  Altar. 
Its  main  idea  was  that  without  the  shedding  of  the  blood  of 
certain  animals  on  certain  fixed  days  there  was  no  remission 
of  sins.  It  expressly  forbid  the  casting  out  of  devils,  and 
unorthodox  dialectics. 

THE  SERMON  ON  THE  MOUNT. 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  delivered  a  sermon  on  a  mountain, 
which  is  held  by  the  Buddhists  to  condense  his  teaching. 2 
The  heart  of  man,  he  said,  was  a  burning  fire,  and  so  were 
all  the  objects  in  the  three  worlds,  the  objects  that  could  be 
seen,  felt,  heard,  or  touched.  This  fire  was  the  fire  of  lust,  of 
anger,  of  ignorance.  It  was  due  to  the  shortcomings  of  a  life 
exposed  to  rebirth,  sickness,  old  age,  mortal  anxieties.  Only 
the  disciples  of  Buddha  could  escape  the  torments  of  this 
fiery  furnace.  Freed  from  lust  and  human  passion,  they  had 
acquired  the  wisdom  that  leads  to  the  Perfect  Man.  They 
were  no  longer  bound  by  the  sixteen  laws,  for  they  had 
passed  into  higher  regions.  This  sermon  was  delivered  on 
the  Elephant's  Head,  a  mountain  near  Buddha  Gaya. 

This  seems  to  throw  much  light  on  Christ's  "  aeonial  fire." 
Our  version  translates  it  "  eternal  fire,"  and  turns  its  meaning 
topsy-turvy.  The  Jews  in  Christ's  day  believed  in  the 
metempsychosis,  and  the  word  "  aeon  "  was  the  Greek  word  for 

1  "Voyage,"  vol.  ii.  p.  118.  2  Bigandet,  p.  141,  note. 


154  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

one  rebirth.      The  sorrows  and  experiences  of  mortal  life 
constitute  the  fire  that  purifies  and  gives  us  wisdom. 

THE  BEATITUDES. 

The  Buddhists, like  the  Christians,  have  got  their  Beatitudes. 
They  are  plainly  arranged  for  chant  and  response  in  the 
temples.  It  is  to  be  noted  that  the  Christian  Beatitudes  were 
a  portion  of  the  early  Christian  ritual. 

"An  Angel. 
"  i  Many  angels  and  men 

Have  held  various  things  blessings. 

When  they  were  yearning  for  the  inner  wisdom. 

Do  thou  declare  to  us  the  chief  good. 

"Buddha. 

"  2  Not  to  serve  the  foolish, 
But  to  serve  the  spiritual ; 
To  honour  those  worthy  of  honour, — 
This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  3  To  dwell  in  a  spot  that  befits  one's  condition, 
To  think  of  the  effect  of  one's  deeds, 
To  guide  the  behaviour  aright, — • 
This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  4  Much  insight  and  education, 
Self-control  and  pleasant  speech, 
And  whatever  word  be  well  spoken, — 
This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  5  To  support  father  and  mother, 
To  cherish  wife  and  child, 
To  follow  a  peaceful  calling, — 
This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  6  To  bestow  alms  and  live  righteously, 
To  give  help  to  kindred, 
Deeds  which  cannot  be  blamed, 
These  are  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  7  To  abhor  and  cease  from  sin, 
Abstinence  from  strong  drink, 
Not  to  be  weary  in  well-doing, 

These  are  |he  greatest  blessing. 


ESSENISM  IN  THE  BIBLE.  155 

"  8  Reverence  and  lowliness, 
Contentment  and  gratitude, 
The  hearing  of  the  Law  at  due  seasons, — 
This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  9  To  be  long  suffering  and  meek, 
To  associate  with  the  tranquil, 
Religious  talk  at  due  seasons, — 
This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  10  Self-restraint  and  purity, 

The  knowledge  of  the  noble  truths, 
The  attainment  of  Nirvana, 

This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  1 1   In  the  midst  of  the  eight  world  miseries. 
Like  the  man  of  pure  life, 
Be  calm  and  unconcerned, — 

This  is  the  greatest  blessing. 

"  12  Listener,  if  you  keep  this  law, 
The  law  of  the  spiritual  world, 
You  will  know  its  ineffable  joy, — 
This  is  the  greatest  blessing." * 


"A  NEW  COMMANDMENT  GIVE  I  UNTO  YOU,  THAT  YE 

SHOULD   LOVE    ONE  ANOTHER." 

"  By  love  alone  can  we  conquer  wrath.  By  good  alone 
can  we  conquer  evil.  The  whole  world  dreads  violence.  All 
men  tremble  in  the  presence  of  death.  Do  to  others  that 
which  ye  would  have  them  do  to  you.  Kill  not.  Cause  no 
death." 2 

"  Say  no  harsh  words  to  thy  neighbour.  He  will  reply  to 
thee  in  the  same  tone." 

"I  am  injured.  I  am  provoked.  I  have  been  beaten  and 
plundered.  They  who  speak  thus  will  never  cease  to  hate." 

"  Religion  is  nothing  but  the  faculty  of  love."  3 

1  "Khuddaka  Patha."     See  Rhys  Davids,  "  Buddhism,"  p.  127,  and 
Bigandet's  translation,  p.  118,  note. 

2  Sutra  of  Forty-two  Sections,  v.  129.    M.  Ldon  Feer,  in  his  translation, 
gives  the  very  words  of  Luke  vi.  31. 

3  Bigandet,  p.  223. 


1 56  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Let  goodwill  without  measure  impartial,  unmixed,  with 
out  enmity,  prevail  throughout  the  world,  above,  beneath 
around."  1 

"WHOSOEVER  SHALL  SMITE  THEE  ON  THY  RIGHT 
CHEEK,  TURN  TO  HIM  THE  OTHER  ALSO." 

A  merchant  from  Sunaparanta  having  joined  Buddha's 
society,  was  desirous  of  preaching  to  his  relations,  and  is  said 
to  have  asked  the  permission  of  the  master  so  to  do. 

"  The  people  of  Sunaparanta,"  said  Buddha,  "  are  exceed 
ingly  violent,  if  they  revile  you,  what  will  you  do  ? " 

"  I  will  make  no  reply,"  said  the  mendicant. 

"  And  if  they  strike  you  ? " 

"  I  will  not  strike  in  return,"  said  the  mendicant. 

"  And  if  they  try  to  kill  you  ?  " 

"  Death,"  said  the  missionary,  "  is  no  evil  in  itself.  Many 
even  desire  it,  to  escape  from  the  vanities  of  life."  2 

"AND  IF  THINE  EYE  OFFEND  THEE,  PLUCK  IT  OUT,  AND 
CAST  IT  FROM  THEE." 

De  Carne  (p.  113)  relates  that  the  Buddhists  of  Laos  are 
accustomed  to  offer  up  parts  of  their  bodies  to  Buddha. 
Whilst  he  was  in  their  parts,  a  man  cut  off  his  forefinger  and 
offered  it  up. 

1  "  Khuddaka  Patha,"  p.  16.  2  Bigandet,  p,  216. 


(     157    ) 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

"Glad  Tidings  "—Faith— The  Sower— The  Armour  of  Light— "  How 
hardly  shall  they  that  have  riches  instruct  themselves  in  the  way  " — 
Names  of  Buddha — The  Metempsychosis  in  Judaism  and  Chris 
tianity. 

"GLAD  TIDINGS  OF  GREAT  JOY." 

ODDLY  enough  the  Buddhist  gospel  is  also  called  "glad 
tidings,"  (subha  shita).  A  worthy  king  named  Subhashita- 
gaveshi,  desiring  to  learn  this  gospel,  interrogated  the  god 
Indra  in  the  guise  of  a  demon. 

"  Leap,  O  king,  into  a  fiery  lake,  heated  day  and  night 
for  seven  days,  and  then  I  will  tell  thee." 

The  good  king  abdicated  in  favour  of  his  son,  and  flung 
himself  into  the  fiery  lake.  Forthwith  it  became  pure  cold 
water.  Then  Indra,  appearing  in  his  full  majesty,  recited  the 
following  stanza — 

"  Walk  in  the  path  of  duty. 
Do  good  to  thy  neighbour]; 
Work  no  evil  unto  him. 
He  who  confers  a  benefit  on  a  man 
Is  lodged  comfortably  both  here  and  in  the  next  world."1 

FAITH. 

"  Ananda,  have  faith.    Tathagata  enjoins  it.     All  that  thou 
hast  to  do  Tathagata  has  already  accomplished."  2 
"  Friends,  faith  is  the  first  gate  of  the  Law."  3 
"  All  who  have  faith  in  me  obtain  a  mighty  joy."  4 
"  Ananda,  turn  thy  soul  to  faith.    This  is  my  command." 5 

1  R.  L.  Mitra,  "  Northern  Buddhist  Literature,"  p.  29. 

2  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  95.  3  Ibid.,  p.  39. 
4  Ibid.,  p.  188.                                     5  Ibid.,  p.  96. 


158  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Ananda,  have  faith,  and  I  will  conduct  thee  to  the  saints, 
and  say,  '  These  are  my  friends  ! '  Thus,  if  a  man  with  a 
beloved  son  should  die,  the  friends  of  the  father  would  succour 
the  son.  In  this  way,  Ananda,  those  who  have  faith  in  me 
I  love  and  cherish ;  for  they  are  my  friends,  and  come  to  seek 
in  me  a  refuge."  * 

In  point  of  fact,  as  Colebrooke  shows,  discussions  on  the 
"  efficacy  "  of  faith  and  works,  on  "  grace "  and  free-will  are 
especially  Indian.2  They  would  be  much  out  of  place  in  a 
religion  of  State  ceremonial  like  the  Lower  Judaism. 


THE  SOWER. 

It  is  recorded  that  Buddha  once  stood  beside  the  plough 
man  Kasibharadvaja,  who  reproved  him  for  his  idleness. 
Buddha  answered  thus — 

"  I,  too,  plough  and  sow,  and  from  my  ploughing  and  sow 
ing  I  reap  immortal  fruit.  My  field  is  religion.  The  weeds 
I  pluck  up  are  the  passions  of  cleaving  to  existence.  My 
plough  is  wisdom,  my  seed  purity."  3 

On  another  occasion  he  described  almsgiving  as  being  like 
"  good  seed  sown  on  a  good  soil  that  yields  an  abundance  of 
fruits.  But  alms  given  to  those  who  are  yet  under  the 
tyrannical  yoke  of  passions  are  like  a  seed  deposited  in  a  bad 
soil.  The  passions  of  the  receiver  of  the  alms  choke,  as  it 
were,  the  growth  of  merits."  4 

"  NOT  THAT  WHICH  GOETH  INTO  THE  MOUTH  DEFILETH 

A  MAN." 

In  the  "  Sutta  Nipata,"  chap.  ii.  is  a  discourse  on  the  food 
that  defiles  a  man  (Amagandha).  Therein  it  is  explained  at 
some  length  that  the  food  that  is  eaten  cannot  defile  a  man, 
but,  "  destroying  living  beings,  killing,  cutting,  binding,  steal 
ing,  falsehood,  adultery,  evil  thoughts,  murder, — this  defiles  a 
man,  not  the  eating  of  flesh." 

1  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  96.  2  "  Essays,"  vol.  i.  p.  376. 

3  Hardy,  "  Manual,"  p.  215.  4  Bigandet,  p.  211. 


GLAD    TIDINGS.  159 

"WHERE  YOUR  TREASURE   IS." 

"  A  man,"  says  Buddha,  "  buries  a  treasure  in  a  deep  pit, 
which,  lying  concealed  therein  day  after  day,  profits  him 
nothing ;  but  there  is  a  treasure  of  charity,  piety,  temperance, 
soberness,  a  treasure,  secure,  impregnable,  that  cannot  pass 
away,  a  treasure  that  no  thief  can  steal.  Let  the  wise 
man  practise  virtue ;  this  is  a  treasure  that  follows  him  after 
death."1 

BUDDHA'S  THIRD  COMMANDMENT. 

"  Commit  no  adultery."  Commentary  by  Buddha  :  "  This 
law  is  broken  by  even  looking  at  the  wife  of  another  with  a 
lustful  mind."  2 

THE  HOUSE  ON  THE  SAND. 

"  It  [the  seen  world]  is  like  a  city  of  sand.  Its  foundations 
cannot  endure."  3 

THE  ARMOUR  OF  LIGHT. 

Buddha  called  the  Bodhi,  or  Gnosis,  "  the  great  armour 
that  makes  perfect  the  saint."  4 

"  THOU  CANST  NOT  TELL  WHENCE  IT  COMETH  NOR 
WHITHER  IT  GOETH." 

"  The  men  of  wisdom  have  seen  that  speech  is  like  an 
echo.  It  is  like  a  note  on  the  lute.  The  wise  man  asks, 
Whence  has  it  come  ?  Whither  has  it  gone  ? " 5 

BLIND  GUIDES. 

"  Who  is  not  freed,  cannot  free  others.  The  blind  cannot 
guide  in  the  way."  6 

THE  WAY. 

The  "  Way  "  that  touches  not  earth. 

The  "  Way  "  of  the  one  great  conqueror  of  the  three  thou 
sand  great  worlds.7 

1  "  Khuddaka  Patha,"  p.  13. 

2  See  "  Buddhaghosa's  Parables,"  by  Max  Miiller  and  Rogers,  p.  153. 

3  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  172.  4  Ibid.,  p.  264. 
5  Ibid.,  p.  175.            6  Ibid.,  p.  179.            7  Ibid.,  p.  262. 


160  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  The  way  of  freedom." 

"  The  way  of  God  "  (Swayambhu). 

"  The  way  which  leads  to  the  Gnosis."  x 

"AND    NOW  ALSO   THE   AXE   IS   LAID   TO   THE   ROOT   OF 
THE   TREES."2 

"  Having  collected  together  a  large  multitude  of  trees, 
dowered  with  virtue,  austerity,  patience,  and  brave  hearts,  and 
sheafed  with  divine  meditation.  Mounted  in  the  ship  whose 
essence  is  the  adamant,  I  will  pass  myself  and  transport 
countless  beings  across  the  flood."  2 

"  HEAVEN  AND  EARTH  SHALL  PASS  AWAY,  BUT  MY 
WORD  WILL  NOT  PASS  AWAY." 

"  Though  the  heavens  were  to  fall  to  the  earth, 
And  the  great  world  be  swallowed  up  and  pass  away  ; 
Though  Mount  Sumeru  were  to  crack  to  pieces, 
And  the  great  ocean  be  dried  up  : 
Yet,  Ananda,  be  assured, 
The  words  of  the  Buddha  are  true."  3 

"FOR  THEY  SAY  AND  DO  NOT"  (Matt,  xxiii.  3). 

"  As  a  bright  but  scentless  flower,  is  the  talk  of  the  man 
that  speaks  but  does  not  act  "  ("  Dhammapada  "). 

"NEITHER  DOTH  A  CORRUPT  TREE  BRING  FORTH  GOOD 

FRUIT  "  (Luke  vi.  43). 

"  The  fool  is  his  own  enemy,  doing  the  deed  that  produces 
bitter  fruit  "  ("  Dhammapada  "). 

"  PROVIDE  YOURSELVES   BAGS  THAT  WAX   NOT   OLD,   A 

TREASURE  IN  THE  HEAVENS  THAT  FADETH  NOT" 

(Luke  xii.  33). 

"  The  unchaste,  that  seek  not  the  divine  treasure  in  youth, 
lament  the  past,  and  lie  like  broken  bows  "  ("  Dhammapada  "). 

1  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  262.  2  Ibid.,  p.  206. 

3  Beal,  "Romantic  History,"  p.  n. 


GLAD    TIDINGS.  l6l 

"I  SAY  UNTO  ALL,  WATCH"  (Mark  xii.  37). 
"Watch  thine   own    self.     Of  the  three  watches    of  the 
night,  the  wise  man  watches  at  least  through  one  "  ("  Dham- 
mapada"). 

"¥E  MAKE  CLEAN  THE  OUTSIDE  OF  THE  CUP  AND  THE 
PLATTER,  BUT  WITHIN  THEY  ARE  FULL  OF  EXTOR 
TION  AND  EXCESS"  (Matt,  xxxiii.  25). 

"  Why  this  goat-skin  (O  Brahmin)  and  thy  matted  hair. 
Without  is  varnish,  but  within  is  filth  "  ("  Dhammapada  "). 

"  Not  matted  hair,  nor  birth,  nor  gold,  make  the  Brahmin, 
but  truth  and  justice.  He  who  has  burst  the  cord  and  the 
strap,  who  is  awakened,  .  .  .  who,  being  innocent,  patiently 
endures  abuse,  blows,  and  chains, — the  awakened  man,  the 
divine  singer,  he  who  overcometh,  him  I  call  the  Brahmin  " 
("  Dhammapada  "). 

"AND    HE    STRETCHED    FORTH    HlS    HAND    TOWARDS    HlS 

DISCIPLES,  AND   SAID,    BEHOLD  MY  MOTHER   AND 
MY  BRETHREN." 

"  Root  up  the  love  of  self  like  a  lotus  in  autumn.  A 
father,  children,  kinsmen  avail  not  in  the  domains  of  Death. 
As  a  sleeping  village  swept  off  by  the  torrent  is  the  fate 
of  him  who  trusts  in  his  flocks  and  family  "("Dhammapada  "). 

"  The  cares  and  fears  that  come  from  children,  and  wives, 
and  riches,  and  houses  are  like  the  chains  and  terrors  of 
prison.  From  one  is  escape,  not  from  the  former  "  (Sutra, 
in  Forty-two  Sections). 

"HOW  HARDLY  SHALL  THEY  THAT  HAVE  RlCHES,"  ETC. 

"  How  hardly  shall  the  rich  man  instruct  himself  in  the 
Way.  Who  shall  have  riches  and  power,  and  not  become 
their  slave  ? " 

"  Beauty  and  riches  are  like  a  sharp  blade  smeared  with 
honey.  The  child  sucks,  and  is  wounded  "  (Sutra,  in  Forty- 
two  Sections). 

M 


J2  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"ALL  LIARS  HAVE  THEIR  PART  IN  THE  LAKE  THAT 

BURNETH   WITH    FlRE." 

"  Who  says  what  is  not  true  goes  to  hell  "  ("  Dhamma- 
pada"). 

"FOR   NOW   WE   SEE   THROUGH   A   GLASS    DARKLY" 

(i  Cor.  xiii.  12). 

Buddha  was  once  asked,  "What  are  the  signs  of  the 
divine  Gnosis  (Bodhi)?"  He  answered  that  it  was  like  a 
glass  cleaned  and  polished.  When  the  disciple  has  entered 
the  Way  and  conquered  self,  the  mirror  begins  to  manifest 
itself  in  all  its  clearness  "  (Sutra,  in  Forty-two  Sections). 

NAMES  OF  BUDDHA. 

"The  Lord,"  "The  Lord  Buddha  (Buddhanath),"  "The 
Lord  of  the  Universe  (Jagannatha),"  l  "  Saviour,"  2  "  The 
Adored  of  Men  and  Gods,"  "  The  Omniscient,"  "  The  God 
above  Gods,"  "  The  King  of  Remedies,"  3  "  The  Artificer  of 
Happiness,"4  "The  God-man  (Purusha),"  5  "The  Father  of 
Heaven  (Lokabandhu),"  6  "The  Father."7 

In  the  "Lalita  Vistara"  the  Buddhas  of  the  past  come 
down  in  glorious  forms,  and  thus  address  him  :  "  Light  of  the 
world,  this  vow  was  made  by  thee  :  'To  the  worlds  subject 
to  old  age  and  death  I  will  be  a  refuge  ! ' "  8 

Here  is  another  passage;  "Good  shepherd,  full  of  wisdom, 
deign  to  guide  those  who  have  fallen  over  the  great  precipice." 9 

THE  ONE  THING  NEEDFUL. 

Certain  subtle  questions  were  proposed  to  Buddha,  such 
as  :  What  will  best  conquer  the  evil  passions  of  man  ?  W7hat 
is  the  most  savoury  gift  for  the  alms-bowl  of  the  mendicant  ? 
Where  is  true  happiness  to  be  found  ?  Budhha  replied  to 
them  all  with  one  word,  Dharma 10  (the  heavenly  life). 

1  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  126.  2  Ibid  ?  p  I2g> 

Ibid->  P-  6-  4  Ibid.,  p.  97.  5  Ibid<)  p  335> 

Ibid->  367.  7  Ibid.,  p.  351.  s  Ibid.,  p.  163. 

9  Ibid.,  p.  372.  10  Bigandet,  p.  225. 


GLAD    TIDINGS.  1^3 

"VVno  DID  SIN,  THIS  MAN  OR  HIS  PARENTS,  THAT  HE 
WAS  BORN  BLIND  ? "  (John  ix.  3). 

Professor  Kellogg  in  his  work  entitled  "  The  Light  of  Asia 
and  the  Light  of  the  World,"  condemns  Buddhism  in  almost 
all  its  tenets.  But  he  is  especially  emphatic  in  the  matter  of 
the  metempsychosis.  The  poor  and  hopeless  Buddhist  has 
to  begin  again  and  again  "  the  weary  round  of  birth  and 
death,"1  whilst  the  righteous  Christians  go  at  once  into  life 
eternal2 

Now  it  seems  to  me  that  this  is  an  example  of  the  danger 
of  contrasting  two  historical  characters  when  we  have  a  strong 
sympathy  for  the  one  and  a  strong  prejudice  against  the 
other.  Professor  Kellogg  has  conjured  up  a  Jesus  with  nine 
teenth  century  ideas,  and  a  Buddha  who  is  made  responsible 
for  all  the  fancies  that  were  in  the  world  500  B.C.  Professor 
Kellogg  is  a  professor  of  an  American  University,  and  as  such 
must  know  that  the  doctrine  of  the  gilgal  (the  Jewish  name 
for  the  metempsychosis)  was  as  universal  in  Palestine  A.D.  30 
as  it  was  in  Rajagriha  500  B.C.  An  able  writer  in  the  Church 
Quarterly  Rev ieiv  of  October,  1885,  maintains  that  the  Jews 
brought  it  from  Babylon.3  Dr.  Ginsburg,  in  his  work  on  the 
"  Kabbalah,"  shows  that  the  doctrine  continued  to  be  held  by 
Jews  as  late  as  the  ninth  century  of  our  era.  He  shows, 
too,  that  St.  Jerome  has  recorded  that  it  was  "propounded 
amongst  the  early  Christians  as  an  esoteric  and  traditional 
doctrine."  4 

The  author  of  the  article  in  the  Church  Quarterly  Review, 
in  proof  of  its  existence,  adduces  the  question  put  by  the 
disciples  of  Christ  in  reference  to  the  man  that  was  born 
blind.  And  if  it  was  considered  that  a  man  could  be  born 
blind  as  a  punishment  for  sin,  that  sin  must  have  been 
plainly  committed  before  his  birth.  Oddly  enough,  in  the 
"White  Lotus  of  Dharma"  there  is  an  account  of  the  healing 
of  a  blind  man,  "  Because  of  the  sinful  conduct  of  the  man 
[in  a  former  birth]  this  malady  has  arisen." 5 

1  Page  250.  2  Page  248. 

3  Article,  "  Esoteric  Buddhism."  4  The  "  Kabbalah,"  p.  43. 

6  Chap.  v. 


1 64  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

But  a  still  more  striking  instance  is  given  in  the  case  of 
the  man  sick  with  the  palsy  (Luke  v.  18).  The  Jews  believed, 
with  modern  Orientals,  that  grave  diseases  like  paralysis  were 
due,  not  to  physical  causes  in  this  life,  but  to  moral  causes 
in  previous  lives.  And  if  the  account  of  the  cure  of  the 
paralytic  is  to  be  considered  historical,  it  is  quite  clear  that 
this  was  Christ's  idea  when  He  cured  the  man,  for  He  dis 
tinctly  announced  that  the  cure  was  effected  not  by  any 
physical  processes,  but  by  annulling  the  "  sins "  which  were 
the  cause  of  his  malady. 

Traces  of  the  metempsychosis  idea  still  exist  in  Catholic 
Christianity.  The  doctrine  of  original  sin  is  said  by  some 
writers  to  be  a  modification  of  it.  Certainly  the  fancy  that 
the  works  of  supererogation  of  their  saints  can  be  transferred 
to  others  is  the  Buddhist  idea  of  good  karma,  which  is  trans 
ferable  in  a  similar  manner.1 

"!F   THE   BLIND  LEAD    THE    BLIND,  BOTH   SHALL  FALL 
INTO  THE  DITCH"  (MATT.  xv.  14). 

"  As  when  a  string  of  blind  men  are  clinging  one  to  the 
other,  neither  can  the  foremost  see,  nor  the  middle  one  see, 
nor  the  hindmost  see.  Just  so,  methinks,  Vasittha  is  the  talk 
of  the  Brahmins  versed  in  the  Three  Vedas  "  (Buddha  in  the 
"Tevigga  Sutta,"  i.  15). 

"Tins  is  A  HARD  SAYING." 

I  have  recently  come  across  two  passages  in  two  widely 
different  works  which  read  rather  curiously  together. 

The  first  is  from  a  work  recently  quoted,  "  The  Light  of 
Asia  and  the  Light  of  the  World."  In  it  Professor  Kellogg 
condemns  Buddha's  teaching  as  uone  of  the  most  uncom 
promising  and  unmitigated  systems  of  pessimism  that  human 
intellect,  in  the  deep  gloom  of  its  ignorance  of  Him  who  is 
the  Light  and  Life  of  men,  has  ever  elaborated."  2  In  proof 
of  this  he  cites  certain  passages  from  Buddhist  books.  These 
are  the  most  noteworthy — 

1  See  Stone,  "  Christianity  before  Christ,"  p.  209. 

2  Page  266. 


GLAD   TIDINGS.  1 65 

"  All  created  things  are  grief  and  pain.  He  who  knows 
this  becomes  passive  in  pain." 

"  So  long  as  the  love  of  man  towards  woman,  even  the 
smallest,  is  not  destroyed,  so  long  is  his  mind  in  bondage." ] 

Turning  to  the  author  of  "  Jesus  Bouddha,"  we  find  that 
he  brings  precisely  the  same  accusations  against  the  "  abomi 
nable  theories  "  of  Christ.  He  cites  Luke  xiv.  26. 

"  If  any  man  come  to  Me,  and  hate  not  his  father,  and 
mother,  and  wife,  and  children,  and  brethren,  and  sisters,  yea, 
and  his  own  life  also,  he  cannot  be  My  disciple." 

He  adduces  also — 

"  Let  the  dead  bury  their  dead." 

"  Think  not  that  I  have  come  to  send  peace  on  earth  :  I 
come  not  to  send  peace,  but  a  sword.  For  I  am  come  to  set 
a  man  at  variance  against  his  father,  and  the  daughter  against 
her  mother,  and  the  daughter-in-law  against  her  mother-in- 
law.  And  a  man's  foes  shall  be  they  of  his  own  household  " 
(Matt.  x.  34-36). 

"  And  the  brother  shall  deliver  up  the  brother  to  death, 
and  the  father  the  child  :  and  the  children  shall  rise  up  against 
their  parents,  and  cause  them  to  be  put  to  death"  (ver.  21). 

"  So  likewise,  whosoever  he  be  of  you  that  forsaketh  not 
all  that  he  hath,  he  cannot  be  my  disciple"  (Luke  xiv.  33). 

The  author  says  that  all  this  is  pure  nihilism  and  Essene 
communism.  "The  most  sacred  family  ties  are  to  be  re 
nounced,  and  man  to  lose  his  individuality  and  become 
a  unit  in  a  vast  scheme  to  overturn  the  institutions  of  his 
country. 

"Qu'  importeau  fanatisme  la  ruine  de  la  societe  humaine."2 

Now  I  believe  that  these  two  writers  would  judge  that 
they  were  as  far  apart  as  Calvinist  and  Positivist  can  possibly 
be,  but  they  have  one  prominent  feature  in  common,  a  total 
paralysis  of  the  sympathetic  insight  which  allows  a  mind  to 
wander  to  a  remote  past.  Whether  Christ  or  Buddha,  if  they 
were  alive  now,  would  seek  to  make  use  of  modern  monastic 
institutions  to  spiritualize  the  world  is  a  question  that  most 
of  us  would  probably  answer  in  the  negative.  When  Christ 
1  Page  227.  2  "Jdsus  Bouddha,"  pp.  244,  et  seq. 


1 66  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

came,  Caesar  had  recently  constructed  fine  roads  all  over 
Europe,  and  along  these  marched  well-drilled  armies  of 
soldiers  and  priests,  bringing  slavery  to  the  nations.  Atheism 
was  high  priest,  and  mockery  the  thurifer.  Religion  consisted 
of  puerile  ceremonial,  and  orgies  whose  records  have  to  be 
concealed  in  the  crypts  of  modern  museums.  The  greed  of 
priests  pandered  to  lasciviousness,  drunkenness,  gluttony. 
This  religion,  as  Gibbon  says,  was  tolerant,  but  only  as  long 
as  it  was  no  religion  at  all.  As  long  as  a  man  sacrificed 
to  the  statue  of  Antinous  or  Commodus  he  might  hold  in 
secret  loftier  views.  But  if  he  expressed  them  he  ran  the 
risk  of  meeting  the  fate  of  Socrates  or  St.  Paul. 

Now  it  seems  to  me  that,  judged   by  the  canons  of  the 
lowest  expediency,  the  work  of  Christ  was  almost  worthy  of 
divinity.      It  was,  in   a   word,  to    use    the    great    weapon  of 
materialism    against    itself.     Materialism   had  woven  a  huge 
network  of  roads  to  bind  tightly  together  the   thrall  of  the 
civilized  world  ;  and  along  these  roads  was  to  march  a  new 
army,  shoeless,  penniless,  wifeless,  homeless,  like  the  "  wan 
derers  "  of  Buddha.     It  was  not  until  I  had  made  a  study  of 
Buddhism  that  I  understood  the  full  force  of  the  early  Chris 
tian  movement.     Even  from  the  materialistic  point  of  view,  it 
was  necessary  that  the  hungry,  hunted  "  apostle  "  who  over 
turned  Csesar  should  be  wifeless,  childless,  without  ties,  or  he 
could  not  have  done  his  work.     Neither  could  he  have  done 
it  without   some    new    and  potent    inner   force.     Thus  with 
Christ,  as  with  Buddha,  the   first  step  towards  emancipating 
society  was  to  spiritualize  the  individual.     With  the  Nazarites 
were    no    half   measures.     There   were    two    cities.     In    the 
first  city  might   be   found   ease   and   comfort,   and    material 
schemes  and  dreams.    Its  denizens  married  and  were  given  in 
marriage.     They  lived  in  rich  houses,  and  aspired  to  robes  of 
dignity.     The  other  city  was  tenanted  by  beggars.     Its  robes 
of  dignity  were    rags  ;    its  guerdon  was   hunger  and   thirst  ; 
stripes  and  death  were  its  day-dreams.    But  until  a  man  could 
thoroughly  understand  that  there  was  no  possible  connection 
between  these  two  cities,  he  could  not  be  a  son  of  the  mystic 
Sophia. 


CHAPTER   XV. 

Feeding  the  Multitudes — Similarity  to  Buddhist  Festivals — Feet-washing 
— Walking  on  the  Water — Parables — Dress. 

THE  GREAT  BANQUET  OF  BUDDHA. 

IN  the  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  it  is  announced  that  those  who 
have  faith  will  become  sons  of  Buddha,  and  partake  of  the 
"  food  of  the  kingdom."  l  Four  things  draw  disciples  to  his 
banquet — gifts,  soft  words,  production  of  benefits,  conformity 
of  benefits.2  The  banquet  of  Buddha  is  the  great  festival  of 
contrition  (Nyungue). 

This  festival  throws  much  light  on  the  accounts  that  we 
have  of  the  multitudes  collected  by  Christ  and  John  the 
Baptist.  The  yearly  festivals  of  the  Buddhists,  even  as  late 
as  the  date  of  Hwen  Thsang,  the  Chinese  pilgrim,  were  taken 
advantage  of  for  the  purpose  of  proselytizing.  Religious 
debates  were  encouraged  ;  as  also  at  the  old  festivals  of  the 
India  of  the  Brahmins.  At  the  great  feast  of  Nyungue,  in 
Tibet,  the  first  day  is  passed  in  prayers  and  in  the  reading 
of  passages  of  scripture,  to  which  the  laity  as  well  as  the 
lamas  are  invited.  They  must  wear  clean  garments  well 
washed,  and  each  bring  his  rosary  and  his  cup.  The  second 
day  is  called  Chorva  (the  Preparation),  and  all  prostrate  them 
selves  to  the  supreme  "  Lotus  Holder "  at  sunrise,  as  the 
healers  fell  down  before  the  Sun  of  Righteousness.  Then 
the  chief  Lama  solemnly  urges  all  to  confess  their  sins  and 
amend  their  vicious  lives.  The  day  is  also  chiefly  passed  in 
prayer ;  tea,  and  a  rude  vegetable  dinner  being  served  out  at 

1  "  Lalita  Vistara,"  p.  97.  2  Ibid.,  p.  51. 


1 68  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

two  o'clock.  The  third  day  is  called  "the  Reality,"  and  is 
a  complete  fast-day  of  twenty-four  hours.  These  Buddhist 
festivals,  with  their  lamps  and  night  service  and  mighty 
crowds,  enable  us  to  picture  to  ourselves  the  prayers  and 
preachings  and  illuminated  boats  on  the  Lake  Mareotis. 
They  explain  how  it  was  that  such  vast  multitudes  crop  up  so 
suddenly  in  starved-out,  desolate  regions. 

"Jesus  called  his  disciples  unto  Him,  and  saith  unto  them, 
I  have  compassion  on  the  multitude,  because  they  have  now 
been  with  Me  three  days,  and  have  nothing  to  eat :  And  if  I 
send  them  away  fasting  to  their  own  houses,  they  will  faint 
by  the  way  :  for  divers  of  them  came  from  far.  And  His 
disciples  answered  Him,  From  whence  can  a  man  satisfy  these 
men  with  bread  here  in  the  wilderness  ?  And  He  asked  them, 
How  many  loaves  have  ye?  And  they  said,  Seven.  And 
He  commanded  the  people  to  sit  down  on  the  ground  :  and 
He  took  the  seven  loaves,  and  gave  thanks,  and  brake,  and 
gave  to  His  disciples  to  set  before  them  ;  and  they  did  set 
them  before  the  people.  And  they  had  a  few  small  fishes  : 
and  He  blessed,  and  commanded  to  set  them  also  before 
them.  So  they  did  eat,  and  were  filled  :  and  they  took  up  of 
the  broken  meat  that  was  left  seven  baskets.  And  they  that 
had  eaten  were  about  four  thousand  :  and  He  sent  them 
away  "  (Mark  viii.  1-9). 

The  fourth  gospel,  in  recording  the  same  transaction,  adds 
an  important  detail— 

"After  these  things  Jesus  went  over  the  sea  of  Galilee, 
which  is  the  sea  of  Tiberias.  And  a  great  multitude  followed 
Him,  because  they  saw  His  miracles  which  He  did  on  them 
that  were  diseased.  And  Jesus  went  up  into  a  mountain,  and 
there  He  sat  with  His  disciples.  And  the  passover,  a  feast  of 
the  Jews,  was  nigh  "  (John  vi.  1-4). 

Plainly  the  two  passages  record  the  Essene  feast  of  the 
Passover.  We  saw  from  Philo's  letter  to  Hephsstion  that 
the  Therapeuts  celebrated  their  own  great  festivals  instead  of 
repairing  to  Jerusalem.  We  see,  from  the  account  in  St.  John's 
Gospel,  that  the  Passover  was  close  at  hand  just  before  the 
great  multitude  came  to  Christ,— four  thousand  souls,  the  exact 


MIRACLES.  169 

number  of  the  Essenes,  according  to  Josephus.  We  see  that 
the  fast  lasted  three  days. 

"  Listen  to  my  words,  O  chosen  ones.  Observe  the  great 
Fast — that  Fast  that  contemns  the  food  and  drink  of  this 
mortal  world."  1 

A  friend  of  mine,  Major  Keith,  the  designer  of  the  fine  stone 
gateway  so  much  admired  in  the  recent  Indian  and  Colonial 
Exhibition,  having  done  a  kindness  to  the  Jains  in  India,  was 
allowed  to  witness  one  of  their  great  feasts.  The  Jains  are 
a  sect  of  schismatic  Buddhists,  who  were  on  that  account 
spared  when  the  rest  of  the  Buddhists  were  turned  out  of  India. 
The  privilege  of  seeing  their  great  festival  was  never  before 
granted  to  an  Englishman.  After  their  fast  they  were  fed, 
when  they  had  sat  down  upon  the  grass  by  hundreds  and  by 
fifties.  The  passage  of  scripture  (Mark  vi.  40)  came  forcibly 
into  Major  Keith's  mind. 

A  BUDDHA  MULTIPLYING  FOOD. 

King  Sudarsana  was  a  model  king.  In  his  dominions 
was  no  killing  or  whipping  as  punishment  ;  no  soldiers' 
weapons  to  torture  or  destroy.  His  city,  Jambunada,  was 
built  of  crystal  and  cornelian,  and  silver  and  yellow  gold. 
A  Buddha  2  visited  it  one  day. 

Now  in  that  city  was  a  man  who  was  the  next  day  to  be 
married,  and  he  much  wished  the  Buddha  to  come  to  the 
feast.  Buddha  passing  by,  read  his  silent  wish,  and  consented 
to  come.  The  bridegroom  was  overjoyed,  and  scattered  many 
flowers  over  his  house  and  sprinkled  it  with  perfumes. 

The  next  day,  Buddha,  with  his  alms-bowl  in  his  hand  and 
with  a  retinue  of  many  followers,  arrived  ;  and  when  they  had 
taken  their  seats  in  due  order,  the  host  distributed  every  kind 
of  exquisite  food,  saying,  "  Eat,  my  lord,  and  all  the  congre 
gation,  according  to  your  desire  !  " 

But  now  a  marvel  presented  itself  to  the  astonished  mind 

of  the  host.     Although  all  these  holy  men  ate  very  heartily, 

the   meats   and    the    drinks    remained    positively   quite    un- 

diminished  ;  whereupon  he  argued  in  his  mind,  "  If  I  could 

1  "  Book  of  Adam,"  p.  35.  2  Not  Sakya  Muni. 


1 70  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

only  invite  all   my  kinsmen  to  come,  the  banquet  would  be 
sufficient  for  them  likewise." 

And  now  another  marvel  was  presented.  Buddha  read 
the  good  man's  thought,  and  all  the  relatives,  without  invitation, 
streamed  in  at  the  door.  They,  also,  fed  heartily  on  the 
miraculous  food.  It  is  almost  needless  to  add  that  the  Chinese 
book  "  Fu-pen-hing-tsi-king  "  (as  translated  by  the  invaluable 
Mr.  Beal)  announces  that  all  these  guests,  having  heard  a  few 
apposite  remarks  on  Dharma  from  the  lips  of  the  Tathagata, 
to  the  satisfaction  of  everybody  (excepting,  perhaps,  the  poor 
bride),  donned  the  yellow  robes. 

"  IF  I  THEN,  YOUR  LORD  AND  MASTER,  HAVE  WASHED 
YOUR  FEET," 

Christ  gave  an  example  of  the  great  truth,  that  to  perform 
menial  acts,  is  more  godlike  than  to  receive  them.  Just 
before  the  last  supper  (John  xiii.  5),  He  took  a  towel  and 
washed  the  feet  of  all  His  disciples. 

It  is  recorded  in  the  "  Chinese  Dhammapada,"  that  in  a 
monastery  near  Peshawur,  there  was  an  old  monk  with  a 
disease  so  loathsome  that  none  of  his  brother-monks  could 
come  near  him.  Everything  was  poisoned  with  the  smell 
and  virus  of  his  disorder.  Buddha  came  to  the  monastery, 
and  hearing  how  matters  stood,  went  in  and  carefully  washed 
the  body  of  this  poor  old  monk,  and  attended  to  his  disorders. 
"  The  purpose  of  Tathagata,  in  coming  to  the  world,"  he  said, 
"  is  to  befriend  the  poor,  the  helpless,  the  unprotected  ;  to 
nourish  those  in  bodily  affliction,  to  help  the  orphan  and  the 
aged."  1 

PETER  WALKING  ON  THE  WATER. 

The  incident  of  Peter  walking  on  the  water  (Matt.  xiv.  28) 
has  its  counterpart  in  the  "  Chinese  Dhammapada." 

"  O  thou  of  little  faith,  wherefore  didst  thou  doubt  ? "  said 
Christ,  when  His  apostle,  for  want  of  faith,  was  sinking. 

Buddha  was  once  preaching  on  the  banks  of  a  broad  and 

1  Beal,  "  Chinese  Dhammapada,"  p.  94. 


MIRACLES.  I/I 

deep  river  near  Sravasti.  The  people  there  were  unbelievers. 
Suddenly,  to  their  astonishment,  a  man  was  seen  crossing  the 
river  by  walking  on  the  surface  of  the  water.  "  What  means 
this  portent?"  they  said  to  the  man.  He  gave  answer,  that 
being  unable  to  procure  a  boat,  and  wishing  to  hear  the 
preaching  of  Buddha,  he  had  boldly  walked  over  "  because  he 
believed." 

Buddha  took  advantage  of  the  miracle  :  "  Faith  can  cross 
the  flood.  Wisdom  lands  us  on  the  other  shore."  The  un 
believers  were  promptly  converted.1 

There  is  another  Buddhist  legend  that  may  be  of  interest 
here.  Purna,  a  disciple  of  Buddha,  had  a  brother  once  in 
imminent  danger  of  shipwreck  in  a  "black  storm."  "The 
spirits  that  were  faithful  to  Purna,  the  Arya,"  apprised  him  of 
this.  At  once  he  performed  the  miracle  of  transporting  him 
self  to  the  deck  of  the  ship.  "  Immediately  the  black  tempest 
ceased,  as  if  Sumern  had  arrested  it."  2 

The  penitent  thief,  too,  is  to  be  heard  of  in  Buddhism. 
Buddha  confronts  a  cruel  bandit  in  his  mountain  retreat  and 
converts  him.  All  great  movements,  said  St.  Simon,  must 
begin  by  working  on  the  emotion  of  the  masses.  In  the 
"  Chinese  Dhammapada,"  there  is  a  pretty  story  of  a  very 
beautiful  Magdalen  who  had  heard  of  Buddha,  and  who 
started  off  to  hear  him  preach.  On  the  way,  however,  she 
saw  her  beautiful  face  in  a  fountain  near  which  she  stopped 
to  drink,  and  she  was  unable  to  carry  out  her  good  resolution. 
As  she  was  returning,  she  was  overtaken  by  a  courtesan  still 
more  beautiful  than  herself,  and  they  journeyed  together. 
Resting  for  a  while  at  another  fountain,  the  beautiful  stranger 
was  overcome  with  sleep,  and  placed  her  head  on  her  fellow- 
traveller's  lap.  Suddenly  the  beautiful  face  became  livid  as 
a  corpse,  loathsome,  a  prey  to  hateful  insects.  The  stranger 
was  the  great  Buddha  himself,  who  had  put  on  this  appear 
ance  to  redeem  poor  Pundari.3  "  There  is  a  loveliness  that  is 
like  a  beautiful  jar  full  of  filth,  a  beauty  that  belongs  to  eyes, 

1  Beal,  "  Chinese  Dhammapada,"  p.  50. 

2  Burnouf,  Introduction,  etc.,  p.  229. 

3  Beal,  "  Chinese  Dhammapada,"  p.  35. 


I/2  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

nose,  mouth,  body.  It  is  this  womanly  beauty  that  causes 
sorrow,  divides  families,  kills  children."  These  words,  uttered 
by  the  great  teacher  on  another  occasion,  were  perhaps  re 
tailed  a  second  time  for  the  Buddhist  Magna  Civitatis  Pecca- 
trix.1 

PARABLES. 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  taught  in  parables.  I  give  three  or 
four  which  have  been  considered  more  or  less  like  certain 
parables  in  the  New  Testament.  For  a  collection  of  very 
beautiful  ones,  I  beg  to  refer  the  reader  to  the  "  Popular  Life 
of  Buddha." 

"Tnou   FOOL,  THIS   NIGHT  WILL  THY  SOUL  BE 

REQUIRED   OF   THEE  !  " 

Angati,  a  king  in  Miyala  (Tirhut),  had  a  daughter,  Rucha. 
At  first  he  lived  piously,  but  one  day  he  heard  some  false 
teachers  who  declared  that  there  is  no  future  world,  and  that 
man,  after  death,  is  resolved  into  water  and  the  other  ele 
ments.  After  this  he  thought  it  was  better  to  enjoy  the 
present  moment,  and  he  became  cruel. 

One  day  Rucha  went  to  the  king  and  requested  him  to 
give  her  one  thousand  masurans,  as  the  next  day  was  a 
festival  and  she  wished  to  make  an  offering.  The  king  re 
plied  that  there  was  no  future  world,  no  reward  for  merit ; 
religious  rites  were  useless,  and  it  was  better  to  enjoy  herself 
in  the  present  world. 

Now  Rucha  possessed  the  inner  vision,  and  was  able  to 
trace  back  her  life  through  fourteen  previous  existences.  She 
told  the  king  that  she  had  once  been  a  nobleman,  but  an 
adulterer,  and  as  a  punishment  she  was  now  only  a  woman. 
As  a  further  punishment,  she  had  been  a  monkey,  a  bullock, 
a  goat,  and  had  been  once  born  into  the  Rowra  hell.  The 
king,  unwilling  to  be  taught  by  a  woman,  continued  to  be 
a  sceptic.  Rucha  then,  by  the  power  of  the  Satcha  Kirya 
(incantation),  summoned  a  spirit  to  her  aid,  and  Buddha  him 
self,  in  the  form  of  an  ascetic,  arrived  at  the  city.  The  king 
1  Beal,  "  Chinese  Dhammapada."  p.  48. 


PARABLES. 


173 


asked  him  from  whence  he  came.  The  ascetic  replied  that 
he  came  from  the  other  world.  The  king  in  answer,  laugh 
ingly  said — 

"  If  you  have  come  from  the  other  world,  lend  me  one 
hundred  masurans,  and  when  I  go  to  that  world  I  will  give 
you  a  thousand." 

Buddha  answered  gravely — 

"  When  any  one  lends  money,  it  must  be  to  the  rich.     If 
he  bestow  money  on  the  poor,  it  is  a  gift,  for  the  poor  cannot 
repay.     I  cannot  lend  you,  therefore,  one  hundred  masurans 
for  you  are  poor  and  destitute." 

"You  utter  an  untruth,"  said  the  king,  angrily.  "Does 
not  this  rich  city  belong' to  me?" 

The  Buddha  replied — 

"  In  a  short  time,  O  king,  you  will  die.  Can  you  take 
your  wealth  with  you  to  hell  ?  There  you  will  be  in  un 
speakable  misery,  without  raiment,  without  food.  How,  then, 
can  you  pay  me  my  debt  ? " 

At  this  moment,  on  the  face  of  Buddha  was  a  strange 
light  which  dazzled  the  king. 

THE  PRODIGAL  SON.1 

A  certain  man  had  a  son  who  went  away  into  a  far 
country.  There  he  became  miserably  poor.  The  father, 
however,  grew  rich,  and  accumulated  much  gold  and  treasure, 
and  many  storehouses  and  elephants.  But  he  tenderly  loved 
his  lost  son,  and  secretly  lamented  that  he  had  no  one  to 
whom  to  leave  his  palaces  and  suvernas  at  his  death. 

After  many  years,  the  poor  man,  in  search  of  food  and 
clothing,  happened  to  come  to  the  country  where  his  father 
had  great  possessions.  And  when  he  was  afar  off  his  father 
saw  him,  and  reflected  thus  in  his  mind  :  "  If  I  at  once  ac 
knowledge  my  son  and  give  to  him  my  gold  and  my  treasures, 
I  shall  do  him  a  great  injury.  He  is  ignorant  and  undis 
ciplined  ;  he  is  poor  and  brutalized.  With  one  of  such 
miserable  inclinations  'twere  better  to  educate  the  mind  little 
by  little.  I  will  make  him  one  of  my  hired  servants." 

1  This  is  the  title  adopted  in  the  translation  of  M.  Foucaux. 


174  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Then  the  son,  famished  and  in  rags,  arrived  at  the  door 
of  his  father's  house,  and  seeing  a  great  throne  upraised  and 
many  followers  doing  homage  to  him  who  sat  upon  it,  was 
awed  by  the  pomp  and  the  wealth  around.  Instantly  he  fled 
once  more  to  the  highway.  "This,"  he  thought,  "is  the 
house  of  the  poor  man.  If  I  stay  at  the  palace  of  the  king 
perhaps  I  shall  be  thrown  into  prison." 

Then  the  father  sent  messengers  after  his  son  ;  who  was 
caught  and  brought  back  in  spite  of  his  cries  and  lamenta 
tions.  When  he  reached  his  father's  house,  he  fell  down  faint 
ing  with  fear,  not  recognizing  his  father,  and  believing  that 
he  was  about  to  suffer  some  cruel  punishment.  The  father 
ordered  his  servants  to  deal  tenderly  with  the  poor  man,  and 
sent  two  labourers  of  his  own  rank  of  life  to  engage  him  as  a 
servant  on  the  estate.  They  gave  him  a  broom  and  a  basket, 
and  engaged  him  to  clean  up  the  dung-heap  at  a  double  wage. 

From  the  window  of  his  palace  the  rich  man  watched  his 
son  at  his  work  ;  and  disguising  himself  one  day  as  a  poor 
man,  and  covering  his  limbs  with  dust  and  dirt,  he  approached 
his  son,  and  said,  "  Stay  here,  good  man,  and  I  will  provide 
you  with  food  and  clothing.  You  are  honest,  you  are 
industrious.  Look  upon  me  as  your  father." 

After  many  years,  the  father  felt  his  end  approaching,  and 
he  summoned  his  son  and  the  officers  of  the  king,  and 
announced  to  them  the  secret  that  he  had  so  long  kept.  The 
poor  man  was  really  his  son,  who  in  early  days  had  wandered 
away  from  him  ;  and  now  that  he  was  conscious  of  his  former 
debased  condition,  and  was  able  to  appreciate  and  retain  vast 
wealth,  he  was  determined  to  hand  over  to  him  his  entire 
treasure.  The  poor  man  was  astonished  at  this  sudden  change 
of  fortune,  and  overjoyed  at  meeting  his  father  once  more. 

The  parables  of  Buddha  are  reported  in  the  "  Lotus  of  the 
Perfect  Law  "  to  be  veiled  from  the  ignorant  by  means  of  an 
enigmatic  form  of  language.1  The  rich  man  of  this  parable, 
with  his  throne  adorned  by  flowers  and  garlands  of  jewels,  is 
announced  to  be  Tathagata,  who  dearly  loves  all  his  children, 
and  has  prepared  for  them  vast  spiritual  treasures.  But  each 

1  "  Lotus,"  p.  45. 


PARABLES.  175 

son  of  Tathagata  has  miserable  inclinations.  He  prefers  the 
dung-heap  to  the  pearl  mani.  To  teach  such  a  man 
Tathagata  is  obliged  to  employ  inferior  agents,  the  monk  and 
the  ascetic,  and  to  wean  him  by  degrees  from  the  lower 
objects  of  desire.  When  he  speaks  himself,  he  is  forced  to 
veil  much  of  his  thought,  as  it  would  not  be  understood. 
His  sons  feel  no  joy  on  hearing  spiritual  things.  Little  by 
little  must  their  minds  be  trained  and  disciplined  for  higher 
truths. 


THE  MAN  WHO  WAS  BORN  BLIND. 

Once  upon  a  time  there  was  a  man  born  blind,  and  he 
said,  "  I  cannot  believe  in  a  world  of  appearances.  Colours 
bright  or  sombre  exist  not.  There  is  no  sun,  no  moon,  no 
stars.  None  have  witnessed  such  things ! "  His  friends 
remonstrated  with  him,  but  all  in  vain.  He  still  repeated  the 
same  words. 

In  those  days  there  was  a  holy  man  cunning  in  roots  and 
herbs,  one  who  had  acquired  supernatural  gifts  by  a  life  of 
purity  and  abstinence.  This  man  perceived  by  his  spiritual 
insight  that  away  amongst  the  clouds  on  the  steeps  of  the 
lofty  Himalayas  were  four  simples  that  had  power  to  cure 
the  man  who  was  born  blind.  He  fetched  these  simples,  and, 
mashing  them  together  with  his  teeth,  he  applied  them.  Im 
mediately  the  man  who  was  born  blind  was  cured  of  his 
infirmity.  He  saw  colours  and  appearances.  He  saw  the 
bright  sun  in  the  heavens.  He  was  overjoyed,  and  pro 
nounced  that  no  one  now  had  any  advantage  over  him  in  the 
matter  of  eyesight. 

Then  certain  holy  men  came  to  the  man  who  had  been 
born  blind,  and  said  to  him,  "  You  are  vain  and  arrogant,  and 
nearly  as  blind  as  you  were  before.  You  see  the  outside  of 
things  but  not  the  inside.  One  whose  supernatural  senses  are 
quickened  sees  the  lapis-lazuli  fields  of  the  Buddhas  and 
hears  conch-shells  sounded  at  a  distance  of  five  yoganas.  Go 
off  to  a  desert,  a  forest,  a  cavern  in  the  mountains,  and 
conquer  this  thirst  for  earthly  things."  The  man  who  was 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

born  blind  did  as  these  holy  men  enjoined,  and  by-and-by 
acquired  the  supernatural  gifts. 

The  interpretati9n  of  this  parable  is,  that  the  man  who  is 
born  blind  is  one  afflicted  with  the  blindness  of  spiritual 
ignorance.  Tathagata  is  the  great  physician  who  loves  him 
as  a  father  loves  a  son.  The  four  simples  are  the  four  holy 
truths.  The  holy  men  who  accosted  him  are  the  great  rishis, 
who  teach  the  spiritual  life  in  caves  and  in  deserts,  and  wean 
mankind  from  the  love  of  lower  things. 

THE  WOMAN  AT  THE  WELL. 

Ananda,  the  loved  disciple  of  Buddha,  was  once  thirsty, 
having  travelled  far.  At  a  well  he  encountered  a  girl  named 
Matanga,  and  asked  her  to  give  him  some  water  to  drink. 
But  she,  being  a  woman  of  low  caste,  was  afraid  of  contami 
nating  a  holy  Brahmin,  and  refused  humbly. 

"  I  ask  not  for  caste,  but  for  water,"  said  Ananda.  His 
condescension  won  the  heart  of  the  girl  Matanga.  It  happened 
that  she  had  a  mother  cunning  in  love  philtres  and  weird  arts, 
and  when  this  woman  heard  how  much  her  daughter  was  in 
love,  she  threw  her  magic  spells  round  the  disciple,  and 
brought  him  to  her  cave.  Helpless,  he  prayed  to  Buddha, 
who  forthwith  appeared  and  cast  out  the  wicked  demons. 

But  the  girl  Matanga  was  still  in  wretched  plight.  At 
last  she  determined  to  appeal  to  Buddha  himself. 

The  great  physician,  reading  the  poor  girl's  thought, 
questioned  her  gently— 

"  Supposing  that  you  marry  my  disciple,  £an  you  follow 
him  everywhere  ?  " 

"  Everywhere  !  "  said  the  girl. 

"  Could  you  wear  his  clothes,  sleep  under  the  same  roof?  " 
said  Buddha,  alluding  to  the  nakedness  and  beggary  of  the 
"houseless  one." 

By  slow  degrees  the  girl  began  to  take  in  his  meaning 
and  at  last  took  refuge  in  the  Divine  Triad.1 

I  give  three  new  parables  of  great  beauty. 

1  Burnouf,  Introduction,  etc.,  p.  183. 


PARABLES.  177 

"THE  KING  AND  THE  PIG. 

1  There  was  a  king  renowned  in  Indian  story  ; 

With  bow  and  brand 
He  spread  abroad  the  record  of  his  glory 
In  every  land. 

"  Grey  warriors  said,  '  O  ne'er  was  such  a  leader, 

Wary  and  bold  ! ' 

He  had  a  palace  built  of  scented  cedar 
Fretted  with  gold. 

"  One  hundred  courts  with  trees  and  plashing  fountains 

And  marble  screens, 

Rare  flowers,  like  those  of  the  Kailasa  mountains, 
A  thousand  queens. 

"He  died,  and  from  this  world  of  adulations 

Was  borne  alone, 

What  time  court  poets  sang  their  base  laudations 
To  Buddha's  throne. 

"  Said  Buddha,  '  What  of  this  man  is  recorded  ? ' 

An  angel  read  ; 

It  was  a  tale  of  woe,  blood-stained  and  sordid, 
A  wail  of  the  dead. 

" '  O'er  many  a  city  once  the  home  of  freeman 

The  ivy  twines  ; 

Each  daughter  and  each  wife  was  made  a  leman; 
Men  slaved  in  mines 

" '  To  spread  the  royal  dress  with  many  a  jewel, 

So  thick  they  stood  ; 

Each  diamond  was  a  tear,  congealed  and  cruel, 
Each  ruby  blood. 

" '  A  million  slaves  reared  up  a  pompous  building — 

Ten  thousand  died — 

Of  marble  lace-work,  flecked  with  gems  and  gilding — 
The  Fane  of  Pride. 

"  '  Vast  crowds  were  butchered  for  his  entertainment 

In  war  and  shows  ; 

They  march  in  legions  to  his  huge  arraignment, 
Vassals  and  foes. 

"  '  Fetch  him  the  Mirror  ! '     On  its  surface  speckless 

He  gazed  with  dread, 

And  saw  a  false  old  man,  malformed  and  feckless, 
With  brainless  head. 

N 


1/8  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  O,  who  shall  gaze  upon  that  vision  awful, 

The  naked  truth 

Limned  by  himself,  limned  by  his  deeds  unlawful 
In  age  and  youth  ! 

"  Said  Buddha,  '  Is  there  nothing  true  nor  loyal 

In  any  page?  ' 

'  Once/  said  the  angel,  '  in  a  province  royal 
A  plague  did  rage, 

"  '  And  in  the  sun  a  dying  pig  was  craning 

To  reach  the  shade. 

The  king  said,  "  Watch  those  eyes  of  mute  complaining, 
And  give  it  aid  ! " 

" '  But  o'er  the  courtiers  was  a  deep  dejection  ; 

'Twas  Death's  grim  feast. 

The  king  sprang  down,  and,  heedless  of  infection, 
Moved  the  poor  beast.'  " 

"  Said  Buddha  then  majestic  in  his  kindness, 

'He  is  forgiven! 

That  deed  wipes  out  the  record  of  his  blindness, 
And  wins  him  heaven  ! '  " 

Victor  Hugo  has  made  the  king  a  Mussulman,  but  if  one 
of  the  faithful  had  touched  an  unclean  pig,  such  an  act  would 
have  counterbalanced,  not  a  life  of  evil  deeds,  but  a  life  of 
good  deeds. 

FORGIVENESS. 

"  Once  to  a  mighty  king  in  ancient  Ind 
Were  born  two  sons  ;  Kshemankara,  the  first, 
Was  brave  and  just  and  truthful,  dear  to  all. 
One  day  the  daughter  of  a  king,  concealed 
Behind  the  purdah,  chanced  to  hear  his  voice  ; 
She  said,  '  He  is  my  husband — he  or  none.' 
Papankara,  his  brother,  hated  him, 
Papankara,  whom  jackals,  kites,  and  swine 
Greeted  with  evil  noises  at  his  birth. 
The  king  one  day  spake  to  his  elder  boy : 
'  A  sweet  princess  would  wed  thee,  and  her  sire 
Has  urged  this  union.     Marry  her  my  son  ! ' 
Kshemankara  replied,  '  An  idle  prince 
Brings  little  luck  or  joy  to  any  one  ; 
Give  me  a  ship,  and  let  me  sail  abroad 
And  see  far  countries,  bringing  back  their  wealth, 


PARABLES.  179 

Rare  stones  and  silks  and  produce  to  my  bride.' 

The  king  consented  ;  and  a  goodly  prow, 

With  bamboo  masts  and  sails  of  shining  stuffs, 

Crept  through  lethargic  seas  and  anchored  now 

By  islands  of  rich  gums  and  cinnamon, 

And  now  near  purple  mountains  velvety 

What  time  the  sun  behind  a  screen  of  mist 

Steeps  sea  and  sky  in  floods  of  liquid  gold. 

There  did  Kshemankara  collect  his  gems, 

Moving  his  brother's  gall.     He  too  had  come. 

But  lo  !  a  mighty  change  is  o'er  the  sea  : 

A  dread  tuffan  is  whistling  through  the  shrouds, 

The  waves  are  giant,  and  the  bellowing  cloud 

Chases  the  blood  from  the  young  brother's  cheek. 

They  neared  not  safety,  but  an  island  grim. 

The  elder  brother  said  :  '  Cling  to  my  waist  ! ' 

And  with  wet  bales  and  spars  of  sandal  wood 

The  pair  were  promptly  tossing  in  the  foam. 

At  length  they  landed  ;  and  the  vast  fatigue 

Of  swimming  made  the  elder  brother  sleep. 

The  younger  chose  two  thorns,  and  drove  them  through 

His  brother's  eyes  ;  and  taking  from  his  waist 

A  girdle  filled  with  peails,  announced  his  death. 

Ten  months  have  passed.     To-day  a  fair  princess 
Must  choose  a  husband — 'tis  her  sire's  decree — 
And  in  bright  tents  are  many  sons  of  kings, 
The  king  Papankara,  whose  sire  is  dead, 
To  win  a  smile  from  her  who  smiles  no  more. 
Drums  sound,  the  trumpets  blare,  and  once  or  twice 
Was  heard  a  low  voice  singing  to  a  lute. 
Up  sprang  the  princess  :  '  ''Tis  my  husband's  voice/ 
The  angry  king  said,  '  Fetch  that  singer  here  ! ' 
He  was  a  beggar  grimed  and  blind.     Again 
The  princess  said,  '  That  is  my  husband  there  ! ' 
The  suitors  loudly  laughed,  but  in  their  midst 
The  princess  stood  and  raised  her  hands  to  heaven  : 
'  Spirits  invisible  that  watch  our  acts, 
That  I  have  loved  the  Prince  Kshemankara, 
And  clung  to  him  through  love  and  through  despair, 
Give  evidence  by  a  portentous  act, 
Restore  the  vision  to  one  wounded  eye  ! ' 
And  lo,  the  beggar  saw,  and  fear  seized  all. 
Then  said  Papankara,  '  A  kingly  bride 
Requires  a  kingly  spouse.     The  Shasters  rule 
That  such  must  have  two  eyes,  in  limbs  be  perfect ; 
This  cannot  be  the  prince.     I  saw  him  die.' 
The  beggar  then  raised  up  his  hands  to  heaven  : 


180  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

*  A  kingly  ruler  first  must  rule  himself, 

If  in  the  presence  of  a  mighty  wrong 

I  nourish  hate  to  none  ;  if  schooled  by  care 

And  thirst  and  hunger,  trusty  councillors, 

I  have  been  trained  to  rule  the  sad  and  hungry  ; 

Spirits  invisible  complete  your  task, 

Restore  my  other  eye  ! '     At  once  he  saw. 

Thus  was  Papankara  hurled  from  his  throne, 

And  at  the  jousts  the  princess  chose  her  spouse." 

ALCHEMY. 

"  A  vain  young  Brahmin  once  was  told 
Of  holy  spells  that  made  red  gold  ; 
This  fancy  vexed  him  day  and  night, 
His  life  was  gross,  his  heart  was  light. 
Said  one,  '  In  Uravilva's  wood 
There  dwells  the  Buddha,  calm  and  good. 
He  knows  all  secrets.     Ask  his  aid  ! ' 
The  Brahmin  sought  the  holy  shade 
Said  Buddha,  *  What  you  wish,  my  son, 
May  most  undoubtedly  be  done. 
But  gold  is  crime  !     It  whets  the  knife  ; 
Designs  the  drops  that  poison  life. 
It  parents  lust,  and  hate,  and  ire  ; 
For  gold  the  son  will  kill  the  sire, 
For  gold  the  maiden  sell  her  shame, 
Kings  spread  wide  lands  with  sword  and  flame  ; 
The  sons  of  Dharma  never  tell 
Their  mantras  and  their  potent  spell 
Except  to  those  whose  lives  are  pure, 
To  those  who've  conquered  earthly  lure, 
Who  know  in  fact  the  gold's  true  worth, 
The  tawdriest  tinsel  upon  earth.' 
The  Brahmin  said,  '  My  life  is  pure, 
I've  conquered  every  earthly  lure  ; 
Who,  like  a  Brahmin,  knows  the  right  ! ' 
His  life  was  gross,  his  heart  was  light. 
One  night  the  couple  when  the  moon 
Hides  for  two  weeks  her  light  in  June 
(The  only  fortnight  in  the  year 
When  man  can  make  red  gold  appear), 
Sought  out  a  cavern,  where  a  rill 
Dashed  down  a  chasm  in  the  hill ; 
The  mantras  now  were  promptly  told, 
And  Buddha  spread  the  ground  with  gold, 
Six  thousand  pieces  the  amount, 
A  robber  saw  the  Brahmin  count. 


PARABLES,  1 8 1 

Then  Buddha  hurled  it  in  the  foam, 

Repeating  as  he  journeyed  home 

His  solemn  caution  :  '  Son,  beware  ! 

Use  not  this  knowledge,  have  a  care  ! ' 

But  as  they  trudged,  at  break  of  day, 

Five  hundred  robbers  barred  the  way  ! 

'  O  holy  masters,  we  are  told,' 

They  said,  '  that  you  have  countless  gold.' 

Said  Buddha,  '  Gold  sheds  human  blood, 

And  so  we  flung  it  in  the  flood.' 

The  chieftain  said,  '  Such  words  are  vain 

And  one  as  hostage  must  remain — 

The  younger  one.     So  promptly  hie 

And  fetch  the  gold,  or  he  must  die, 

Within  a  week  he  will  be  slain  ! ' 

'  Within  a  week  I  come  again,' 

Said  Buddha,  '  Fear  not,  Brahmin  youth, 

A  Buddha's  tongue  is  simple  truth.' 

Grim  terror  pales  the  young  man's  brow, 

Will  the  great  Buddha  keep  his  vow  ? 

Five  days  have  passed  away  too  soon, 

To-night  will  end  the  weeks  in  June 

When  spells  can  work  ;  and  if  he  wait, 

To-morrow  will  be  all  too  late. 

'  O  take  me  to  the  rocky  dell, 

To-night  I'll  work  a  mystic  spell.' 

The  gold  was  made.     Quick  spread  its  fame, 

A  rival  band  of  robbers  came  ; 

'  Divide  or  fight  ! '  they  loudly  cried, 

When  the  broad  pieces  they  espied. 

'  He  made  this  gold,'  the  first  clan  said, 

'  We  give  him  up  to  you  instead.' 

O  pity  now  the  Brahmin's  fate, 

He  thinks  of  Buddha's  word  too  late. 

Though  all  unfit  the  time  of  year, 

The  greedy  robbers  will  not  hear, 

They  cut  his  throat  ;  and  then  assail 

Their  rivals  for  their  lying  tale. 

Swords  flash  and  fall  on  sounding  crest, 

On  cloven  targe,  and  stricken  breast, 

Sharp  cries  of  anguish  over  all 

Outroar  the  angry  waterfall, 

Whose  snowy  stream  is  soon  a  flood 

Of  dying  men  and  human  blood, 

Borne  off  to  Yama's  realm  of  death  ; 

Two  robbers  soon  alone  draw  breath. 

Exhausted  with  three  days  of  fast, 


1 82  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

They  watch  the  gold.     Says  one  at  last, 
"  You  guard  the  cave  ;  but  we  must  eat. 
I'll  to  the  town  for  drink  and  meat." 
One  hied  him  to  a  leech's  stock, 
One  nursed  a  dagger  by  a  rock  ; 
Each  muttered,  "  Soon  'tis  all  mine  own  !  " 
One  perished,  stabbed  without  a  groan  ; 
The  other  seized  his  drink  and  meat 
And  soon  was  writhing  at  his  feet. 

DRESS. 

Of  the  close  resemblance  between  the  dress  of  Buddhist 
monks  and  Romish  priests  we  have  the  best  possible  evidence, 
that  of  the  Roman  Catholic  priests  in  many  lands  from  the 
earliest  times. 

Father  Grueber,  who  visited  Tibet  in  1661,  has  recorded 
that  the  dress  of  the  lamas  corresponded  with  that  handed 
down  to  us  in  ancient  paintings  as  the  dress  of  the  apostles.1 

Now  let  us  listen  to  the  Abbe  Hue — 

"  If  the  person  of  the  grand  lama  struck  us  little,  I  cannot 
say  the  same  of  his  dress,  which  in  every  detail  was  that  of 
our  own  bishops.  He  wore  on  his  head  a  yellow  mitre.  In 
his  right  hand  was  a  staff  in  the  form  of  the  crosier.  His 
shoulders  were  covered  with  a  cloak  of  violet  silk,  fastened 
across  the  chest  with  a  hook,  and  resembling  our  cope.  Later 
on  we  will  point  out  many  similarities  between  Catholic  and 
Lamanesque  rites."  2 

This  lama  was  not  the  Delai  lama. 

In  the  "  Life  of  Gabriel  Durand  "  occurs  an  extract  of  a 
letter  from  Father  Ephrem,  written  in  1883 — 

"There  (in  the  Bell  Pagoda,  Pekin)  we  saw  a  Chinese 
priest  dressed  almost  pin  for  pin  like  a  Benedictine  monk."  3 

I  copy  two  Japanese  monks  from  Siebold's  "Nippon." 
(See  Plate  VI.) 

"  Much  of  the  costume  of  the  Buddhist  priests,"  says 
Balfour's  "  Indian  Cyclopaedia,"  "and  of  the  ritual,  has  a  simi 
larity  to  those  of  Christians  of  the  Romish  and  Greek  forms  ; 

1  Cited  by  Prinsep,  "  Tibet,  Tartary,"  etc.  p.  14. 

2  "Voyage  dans  la  Tartarie,"  etc.  vol.  ii. 

3  "Gabriel  Durand,"  vol.  i.  p.  493. 


«l 

c 


I 


PARABLES.  183 

and  De  Guignes,  De  Gama,  Clavijo,  Anthony  Jenkinson,  all 
notice  statements  regarding  the  Greek  Church,  the  Chinese, 
and  the  Burmans,  indicative  of  the  belief  in  the  identity  of 
the  form  of  worship."  Sir  Rutherford  Alcock  bears  similar 
testimony  to  this  identity  of  costume  "  amongst  the  priests, 
acolytes,  and  choristers."  The  missionaries  of  St.  Francis 
Xavier  were  struck  with  it. 

"  Two  systems  and  ceremonials  of  worship  presenting  such 
marvellous  identity  in  small  particulars,  and  in  larger  cha 
racteristics,  could  not  possibly  have  been  born  of  chance  and 
wholly  independent  the  one  of  the  other."  1 

In  point  of  fact,  the  Abbe  Hue  tells  us  that  the  Buddhist 
priests  of  Tibet  have  the  dalmatic  and  the  cope  exactly  like 
the  Roman  Catholics. 

These  two  garments  have  played  a  conspicuous  part  in  all 
the  mystic  societies  of  the  West.  The  dalmatic  is  the  close- 
fitting  white  garment  which  envelopes  the  person  from  the 
neck  to  the  heels.  The  cope,  called  also  pluvial,  in  French  ; 
peviale,  in  Italian,  is  the  rain  cloak.  Both  were  worn  by 
Buddha.  (See  Plate  V.  p.  140.) 

According  to  Philo,  the  Therapeuts  of  Alexandria  had  two 
garments,  "a  thick  cloak  of  some  shaggy  felt  for  winter,  and 
a  sleeveless  vest,  or  fine  linen  garment,  for  summer." 

"  Put  on  your  stoles  and  white  garments,  O  peacemakers, 
symbols  of  the  Water  of  Life." 

This  is  from  the  "  Book  of  Adam,"  and  was  addressed  to 
the  disciples  of  John  the  Baptist.  Do  we  not  learn  also  that 
their  leader  had  a  raiment  of  camel's  hair. 

"  If  any  man  sue  thee  at  the  law,  and  take  away  thy  coat, 
let  him  have  thy  cloke  also  "  (Matt.  v.  40).  This  cloke  may 
also  be  the  garment  "without  seam"  of  Jesus  that  the  four 
executioners  cast  lots  for  (John  xix.  23). 

We  know  from  history  that  the  early  dress  of  the  Chris 
tians,  like  that  of  the  Essenes,  was  white.  Many  passages  in 
the  gospels  support  this  statement.  I  quote  one  (Rev.  iii.  17.) 
whose  Essenism  is  very  pronounced. 

"  Because  thou  sayest,  I  am  rich,  and  increased  with  goods, 
1  "  Capital  of  the  Tycoon,"  vol.  ii.  p.  310. 


1 84  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

and  have  need  of  nothing ;  and  knowest  not  that  thou   art 
wretched,  and  miserable,  and  poor,  and  blind,  and  naked.     I 
counsel  thee  to  buy  of  me  gold  tried  in  the  fire,  that  thou 
mayest  be  rich ;   and   white    raiment,  that  thou   mayest  be 
clothed,  and  that  the  shame  of  thy  nakedness  do  not  appear  ; 
and  anoint  thine  eyes  with  eyesalve,  that  thou  mayest  see." 
Here  is  another  passage  (Matt.  x.  10) — 
"  Provide  neither  gold,  nor  silver,  nor  brass  in  your  purses, 
nor  scrip  for  your  journey,  neither  two  coats,  neither  shoes." 

This  seems  to  show  that  Christ's  disciples  went  barefooted 
like  early  Christian  and  early  Buddhist  monks,  and  had  only 
one  "coat"  (dalmatic)  like  the  Essenes. 

In  the  Daily  News  of  May  3Oth,  1885,  appeared  an  account 
of  a  ceremony  that  takes  place  every  Whit  Monday,  at 
Argenteuil,  in  France.  A  portion  of  the  Saviour's  robe  is 
carried  in  procession  in  a  golden  casket  in  the  presence  of 
many  of  the  most  high-born  Catholics  of  France  and  England. 
This  fragment  is  made  of  camel's  hair,  is  dark  brown  in  colour, 
and  of  stuff  very  like  that  of  a  garment  worn  by  modern 
Arabs.  Pius  IX.  begged  a  little  fragment  of  it,  which  shows 
that  it  is  thought  authentic.  I  mention  this  to  show  an  early 
tradition  of  the  Church.  In  the  days  of  St.  Antony,  Christian 
monks  still  wore  a  garment  of  camel's  hair. 

The  Buddhist  nuns  have  the  black  and  the  white  veil,  but 
these,  as  in  Spain,  are  for  protection  against  heat  in  summer, 
and  cold  in  winter.  They  do  not  denote  spiritual  grades. 
The  nun  with  the  white  veil  I  copied  from  Siebold's  "  Nippon;" J 
the  nun  with  the  black  veil  from  a  photograph.  In  the 
Greek  Church  the  nuns  have  similar  long  sleeves  to  hide  their 
hands.  (See  Plate  VII.) 

1  Siebold,  "  Archiv  zur  Beschreibung  von  Japan." 


(     185     ) 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

Christianity  and  Buddhism  at  first  propagated  secretly— Descent  into 
Hell— Transfiguration  on  a  mount— Triumphal  entry  into  the  "City 
of  the  King"— The  Buddhist  "Last  Supper"— Cup  of  Agony— Por 
tents  at  the  death  of  a  Buddha— "They  parted  my  garments"— 
Trinity  in  Unity. 

"SEE   THAT   THOU    TELL   NO   MAN" 

How  was  Buddhism  spread  by  Buddha  ? 

A  vivacious  critic,  in  a  print  called  the  Indian  Antiquary, 
has  charged  me  with  "crass"  ignorance  and  other  unkind 
things,  because  I  assert  that  Buddhism,  in  the  first  instance, 
made  its  progress  as  a  secret  society.  The  critic  points 
triumphantly  to  the  abundant  chronicles  of  the  Southern 
Buddhists,  where  every  step  of  the  reformer  and  his  movement 
is  set  down. 

I  wish  I  could  agree  with  my  critic,  and  accept  these 
chronicles  without  critical  sifting.  According  to  them, 
Buddha  first  preached  the  law  in  a  deer  forest,  about  four 
miles  to  the  north  of  the  holy  city  of  Benares.  The  spot  is 
called  Sarnath  (Sarugganatha,  the  "  Lord  of  Deer")  to  this 
day.  Asoka  built  a  splendid  temple  in  this  wilderness.  The 
dome  is  ninety-three  feet  in  diameter,  and  its  imposing  mass 
still  dominates  the  plain.  Pilgrims  from  China  have  visited 
it ;  and  pilgrims  from  all  countries  in  the  world  go  to  it  still. 
It  is  called  Dhamek,  a  corruption  for  the  Temple  of  Dharma. 
Now,  the  Cingalese  historian,  evidently  writing  long  after 
this  temple  of  Dharma  had  become  famous,  makes  Buddha 


1 86  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

put  up  in  a  fine  temple  and  vihara  in  a  "  suburb  of  Benares  " 
during  the  first  rainy  season  after  his  conversion. 

Benares  was  already  the  most  holy  city  of  the  Hindoos, 
and  yet  it  is  recorded  that  Buddha  preached  openly  against 
the  Brahmin  religion,  and  made  sixty-one  converts. 

He  then  proceeded  to  the  powerful  Brahmin  kingdom  of 
Magadha,  and  arrived  at  the  capital,  Rajagriha,  attended  by 
over  a  thousand  followers.  The  king  at  once  became  a 
convert,  with  a  large  proportion  of  his  subjects  ;  and  handed 
over  to  Buddha  the  grove  in  which  the  celebrated  Venuvana 
Monastery  was  afterwards  situated.  The  Cingalese  writer 
does  not  take  the  trouble  to  say  a  word  about  the  building  of 
it,  being  evidently  under  an  impression  that  it  was  already 
there.  Five  months  after  Buddha  had  attained  the  Bodhi  he 
started  off  to  Kapilavastu,  a  distance  of  sixty  leagues,  to  see 
his  father.  He  was  accompanied  by  twenty  thousand  yellow- 
robed  shaven  bhikshus  ;  and  he  marched  along  the  high-roads 
of  the  various  Brahmin  kingdoms  that  were  on  his  road 
without  any  molestation.  At  Kapilavastu,  he  found  another 
fine  vihara  ready  for  him  ;  and  the  bulk  of  the  nation  and  the 
king  became  converts  to  his  religion.  He  returned  shortly  to 
Rajagriha  to  find  a  convenient  merchant  ready  at  once  to 
hand  over  to  him  the  rich  vihara,  or  monastery,  of  Jetavana 
at  Sravasti  (Sahet  Mahet).  Buddha  went  at  once  to  the  spot ; 
and  this  time  the  chronicler  allows  a  vihara  to  be  built,  a  new 
one,  he  again  fancying  apparently  that  one  was  there.  There 
was  "  a  pleasant  room  for  the  sage,"  separate  apartments  for 
"eighty  elders,"  and  "other  residences  with  single  and  double 
walls,  and  long  halls  and  open  roofs  ornamented  with  ducks 
and  quails  ;  and  ponds  also  he  made,  and  terraces  to  walk  on 
by  day  and  by  night."  2 

When  Buddha  arrived  at  Sravasti,  this  convent  was 
dedicated  to  him  by  the  merchant,  who  went  through  a 
formula  well  known  in  the  ancient  inscriptions  of  Ceylon. 
He  poured  water  out  of  a  bowl,  and  made  over  the  land  to 
the  monks.  Then  a  gorgeous  festival  took  place,  which  lasted 
nine  months.  Exactly  five  hundred  and  forty  millions  of 
1  "Buddhist  Birth  Stones,"  p.  91.  2  Ibid.,  p.  130. 


SECRECY.  187 

gold  pieces  were  expended  on  this  feast  and  on  the  convent ; 
so  that  we  may  presume,  I  suppose,  that  most  of  the  inhabi 
tants  of  the  powerful  Brahmin  kingdom  of  Sravasti  had 
become  converts.  Thus,  in  less  than  a  year,  Buddha  had 
practically  converted  the  Brahmin  kingdoms  that  stretch  from 
Sravasti  (Sahet  Mahet)  to  Gaya. 

In  a  word,  his  creed  had  already  won  what  is  called  the 
Holy  Land  of  the  Buddhists. 

Is  all  this  true  ?  Even  by  lopping  off  Eastern  exaggera 
tions  and  accretions,  can  we  reduce  it  in  any  way  to  a 
plausible  story  ? 

I  say  that  the  task  is  impossible.  If  in  the  holiest  city  of 
the  Hindoos  Buddha  had  proclaimed  that  there  was  no  God, 
and  in  a  complete  and  categorical  manner  had  announced  that 
man  had  no  soul  nor  anything  of  any  sort  that  existed  after 
death,  the  cruel  laws  of  the  Brahmins  against  heresy  would 
have  been  put  in  force  against  him.  Dr.  Rhys  Davids  con 
tends  that  it  is  proved  by  the  Upanishads  that  "absolute 
freedom  of  thought "  existed  in  ancient  India.1  But  the 
Upanishads  were  secret — he  forgets  that.  They  were  whis 
pered  to  pupils  who  had  passed  through  a  severe  probation. 
Magasthenes,  the  Greek  ambassador  to  Patna,  bears  witness 
to  this.2 

Bishop  Bigandet  accounts  for  the  rise  of  Buddhism,  by 
supposing  that  it  was  at  once  adopted  as  the  official  religion 
in  Magadha.  Then  there  are  theories  abroad  that  some  of 
the  kingdoms  of  India  were  Turanian,  and  their  creeds  were 
Jinism,  or  some  non-Brahminic  religion.  And  it  is  affirmed 
that  some  of  these  monarchs  befriended  Buddha.  In  the  way 
of  all  these  theories  stand  the  Asoka  stones.  They  distinctly 
record  that  the  Brahminism  of  the  animal  sacrifice  was  the 
official  creed  all  over  India  until  Asoka  superseded  it.  It  is 
to  be  remembered  that  Patna  was  his  capital,  which  is  in  the 
very  heart  of  the  Holy  Land  of  the  Buddhists;  so  the  king 
could  no  more  make  a  mistake  about  the  official  creed  of  the 
neighbouring  Magadha  than  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury 

1  "  Hibbert  Lectures,"  p.  26. 

2  Cory,  "Ancient  Fragments,"  p.  225. 


1 88  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

be  wrong  about  the  official  creed  of  Sussex.  The  Atthakatha 
in  tracing  his  history  also  confesses  that  the  official  religion 
was  Brahmin  up  to  the  king's  conversion.1 

The  question  of  the  great  missionary  success  of  early 
Buddhism  is  no  doubt  a  difficult  one.  The  enormous  area 
conquered  by  it  at  the  date  when  Asoka  made  it  an  official 
creed  seems  to  indicate  a  victory  already  won.  Asoka  was  a 
politician.  He  had  swum  to  the  throne  in  the  blood  of  many 
slaughtered  brothers.  He  seems  scarcely  the  man  to  have 
offended  the  powerful  Brahmin  priesthoods  of  every  kingdom 
in  India,  except  under  the  pressure  of  a  more  potent  force. 
If  the  formidable  "  Sons  of  Dharma  "  had  silently  undermined 
these  kingdoms,  and  a  vast  organization  able  to  make  and 
unmake  kings,  united,  secret,  terribly  in  earnest,  had  revealed 
themselves  to  him,  his  proceedings  are  intelligible,  not 
otherwise.  The  vast  empires  of  the  palmy  days  of 
Indian  Buddhism  were  found  unattainable  by  the  most  gory 
Mogul. 

In  this  matter  we  are  not  quite  without  historical  data. 
China  was  officially  converted  A.D.  61,  by  the  apparition  of  a 
"  golden  man,"  "  a  spirit  named  Foe."  The  Emperor  Mingti 
on  perceiving  this  "  golden  man  "  at  once  made  his  religion 
the  official  creed.  But  in  the  notes  of  Klaproth  and  De 
Remusat  to  their  translation  of  the  "  Pilgrimage  of  Fa  Hian,"2 
it  is  made  quite  clear  that  Buddhism  came  to  China  nearly 
two  hundred  years  earlier.  Lassen  believes  that  it  reached 
Babylon  250  B.C.  Buddha's  name  is  mentioned  with  praise 
in  the  "  Zend  Avesta,"  u  Go  ye  into  all  the  world  and  preach 
Dharma  !  "  said  Buddha. 

It  seems  to  me  that  the  biographies  of  Jesus  and  Buddha 
throw  constant  light  the  one  on  the  other.  We  know  the 
fearful  oaths  of  secrecy  enjoined  on  Christians  in  the  Clemen 
tine  "  Homilies  ; "  and  we  remember  the  many  earnest  injunc 
tions  of  Christ  in  the  direction  of  a  similar  caution.  When 
I  was  a  little  boy  I  could  never  understand  this  excess  of 
caution  as  applied  to  the  parables.  Why  was  it  so  necessary 
to  keep  secret  the  fact  that  the  seed  in  the  parable  of  the 

1  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vi.  p.  731.  l  Page  40,  et  seq. 


SECRECY.  1 89 

sower  signified  the  Word  of  God  ?  But  if  by  "  Word  of  God," 
Christ  meant  that  Word  as  interpreted  by  the  Jewish  mystics, 
such  caution  was  of  course  necessary,  for  hearer  and  utterer 
ran  great  danger  of  being  stoned.  Christianity  for  many 
years  after  its  founder's  death  was  a  secret  society,  and  the 
catechumens  were  rigidly  excluded  from  its  mystic  rites. 
The  author  of "  Jesus  Bouddha "  holds  that  Christ's  speech 
about  the  kingdom  of  heaven  coming  "  not  with  observation  " 
(sans  eclat),  and  the  Son  of  man  appearing  in  the  lifetime  of 
the  living  generation,  was  an  allusion  to  the  speedy  success  of 
his  secret  propagandism.1  The  "  Son  of  man  "  was  a  move 
ment  rather  than  an  individual.  This  interpretation  has  the 
advantage  that  the  prophecy  then  would  not  have  been 
falsified  by  the  event.  The  higher  modern  mystics,  like 
Swedenborg,  have  maintained  that  the  avatara  of  God  is  the 
truth  uttered  and  not  the  utterer. 

"HE   DESCENDED   INTO   HELL." 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  preached  to  the  spirits  in  prison. 
It  is  recorded  that  on  one  occasion  when  visiting  Sravastt 
he  remembered  that  the  Buddhas  of  the  past  had  gone  to  the 
heavens  of  the  Devas,  each  to  preach  to  his  mother.  In 
consequence  he  repaired  to  Mount  Meru,  which  is  the  nearest 
point  on  earth  to  the  heavens  of  the  Devas,  and  then  soared 
away  to  the  heaven  Tawadeintha. 

There  he  preached  to  his  mother  and  to  millions  of  spirits 
for  three  months.2  The  heavens  of  the  Devas  are  six  in 
number  and  are  tenanted  by  mortals  still  subject  to  rebirths, 
but  who  are  receiving  rewards  (temporary)  for  past  good  deeds. 
Those  whose  deeds  require  punishment  (also  temporary)  are 
conducted  into  the  bowels  of  the  earth  to  the  hell  Avichi  (the 
Rayless  Place). 

It  is  needless  to  say  that  Buddha  converted  his  mother, 
and  that  she  represents  the  physical  universe  with  the  whole 
of  its  breathing  inhabitants.  The  avatara  of  the  Buddha 
makes  happy  every  suffering  mortal.  The  Chinese  hold  that 
every  thousand  years  Buddha,  in  the  form  of  a  beautiful 
1  Page  252.  1  Bigandet,  p.  203. 


190  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

young  man,  goes  down  to  the  hell  Avichi  and  clears  that 
region  of  suffering. 

Turning  to  the  Gospel  of  Nicodemus,  chap,  xiii.,  we  read 
that  at  the  time  of  Christ's  crucifixion,  in  "  the  depth  of  hell," 
in  "  the  blackness  of  darkness,  on  a  sudden  there  appeared 
the  colour  of  the  sun  like  gold,  and  a  purple-coloured  light 
enlightening  the  place."  At  this  all  the  Jewish  patriarchs 
and  prophets  ^rejoiced,  and  Isaiah  announced  that  this  was 
the  light  of  the  Son  of  God. 

"  The  land  of  Zabulon  and  the  land  of  Nephthalem  beyond 
Jordan,  a  people  who  walked  in  darkness  saw  a  great  light, 
and  to  them  who  dwelt  in  the  region  of  the  shadow  of  death 
light  is  arisen.  And  now,"  added  the  old  Hebrew  prophet, 
"  He  is  come  and  hath  enlightened  us  who  sate  in  death." 

"  Then  all  the  saints  who  were  in  the  depth  of  hell  rejoiced 
the  more." 

These  occurrences  alarmed  Satan  ;  when  suddenly  there 
was  a  voice  as  of  thunder  pronouncing  these  words — 

"  Lift  up  your  gates,  O  ye  princes,  and  be  ye  lift  up  ye 
everlasting  doors,  and  the  King  of  Glory  shall  come  in ! " 

Then  the  Prince  of  Hell,  a  distinct  being  from  Satan,  called 
out,  "  Shut  the  brass  gates  of  cruelty  !  "  But  the  patriarchs 
remonstrated,  and  David  called  to  mind  his  prophecy — 

"  He  hath  broken  the  gates  of  brass,  and  cut  the  bars  of 
iron  in  sunder." 

Then  Isaiah  spoke  again— 

"  Did  not  I  rightly  prophecy  to  you  when  I  was  alive  on 
earth?" 

"The  dead  men  shall  live  and  they  shall  rise  again 
who  are  in  their  graves,  and  they  shall  rejoice  who  are  on 
earth." 

"  Then  the  mighty  Lord  appeared  in  the  form  of  a 
man  and  lit  up  those  places  which  had  been  before  in  dark 
ness." 

And  "  trampling  upon  Death,  he  seized  the  Prince  of  Hell, 
and  deprived  him  of  all  his  power." 

It  is  also  recorded  that  he  dismissed  "all  the  captives,  and 
released  all  who  were  bound  and  all  who  were  wont  formerly 


SECRECY.  191 

to  groan   under  the  weight  of  their  torments "  (chap,   xviii. 
v.4). 

The  Buddhist  universalism  of  this  legend  gives  it,  I  think, 
an  early  date.  Peter  evidently  alludes  to  it  when  he  records 
that  Christ  "went  and  preached  unto  the  spirits  in  prison"  (i 
Pet.  iii.  19). 

TRANSFIGURATION  ON  A  MOUNT. 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  when  he  went  up  the  steeps  of  Mount 
Meru,  was  ministered  to  by  his  two  chief  disciples.  Sariputra 
brought  him  food,  whilst  a  double  of  the  Great  Teacher,  per 
haps  his  "  diamond "  or  spirit  body,  was  preaching  to  the 
spirits  in  prison.  Maudgalyayana  was  at  hand,  too,  and  was 
commissioned  to  tell  the  rest  of  the  disciples  that  on  a  certain 
day  the  Lord  would  descend  to  earth  near  a  town  called  Sam- 
kasya,  which  was  situated  some  thirty  yogunas  from  Sravasti. 
A  splendid  staircase  of  diamonds  and  emeralds  was  constructed 
by  the  spirits,  and  along  this  Buddha  came ;  but  at  a  certain 
point  he  paused,  and  an  astounding  miracle  was  patent  to  the 
vast  multitudes  who  had  assembled  to  greet  his  triumphal 
return.  The  six  glories  of  the  Buddha  shone  out  with 
dazzling  radiance  on  his  head,  and  the  splendid  domes  and 
temples  of  the  spirit  cities  were  revealed.  Men  could  see 
spirits  and  spirits  could  see  men.  Sweet  strains  were  in  the 
air  from  heavenly  harps.  And  Indra  the  king  of  heaven  and 
Brahma  were  by  the  side  of  Buddha,  with  an  innumerable 
army  of  angelic  beings.  The  light  of  all  this  glory  illumined 
even  the  hell  Avichi.  A  splendid  canopy  temple  was  after 
wards  erected  on  the  spot  where  the  King  of  Glory  had 
alighted.1  Did  not  Peter  wish  to  erect  a  "  tabernacle  "  on  the 
spot  where  Christ  was  transfigured  ? 

Another  point  is  noteworthy.  Sariputra  and  Maudgalya 
yana  incurred,  like  the  Sons  of  Thunder,  the  jealousy  of  the 
other  disciples  by  a  similar  request.  They  petitioned  Buddha 
that  the  one  should  sit  on  his  right  hand  and  the  other  on  his 
left.2  The  coincidence  goes  further.  Sariputra  was  also 
called  Upatishya  (the  "  beloved  disciple  "). 

1  Compare  Bigandet,  p.  208,  and  Rockhill,  p.  81. 

2  Bigandet,  p.  153. 


1 92  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

THE  TRIUMPHAL  ENTRY  INTO  THE  CITY  OF  THE  KING. 

Bishop  Bigandet  points  out  that  there  is  a  "  Precurseur  de 
Bouddha"  as  well  as  a  forerunner  of  Christ.  When  Buddha 
proceeds  from  the  Desert  of  Uravilva  to  make  his  solemn  entry 
into  Rajagriha,  the  Jerusalem  of  the  Buddhists,  a  radiant  young 
man,  who  was  in  reality  Indra,  appeared  and  cried  out— 

"  Behold  the  great  Buddha  advances  with  a  thousand  dis 
ciples  ! "  And  when  he  was  questioned  about  himself  he  said, 
"  Sons  of  men,  I  am  his  humble  servant.  He  alone  merits  the 
worship  of  men  and  spirits." 

Dr.  Rhys  Davids  also  gives  us  an  account  of  Buddha  doing 

something  the  same  sort  of  office  to  the  great  Buddha  Dipan- 

kara.     In  a  previous  existence  he  was  the  Brahmin  Sumedha. 

"  If  you  clear  a  path  for  the  Buddha,  assign  to  me  a  place. 

"  I  will  also  clear  the  road,  the  way,  the  path  of  his  coming. 

"  Then  they  gave  me  a  piece  of  ground  to  clear  a  pathway. 

"  Then  repeating  within  me  A  Buddha,  a  Buddha  !  I  cleared 

the  road." 

By-and-by  the  Buddha  arrived,  attended  by  a  vast  multi 
tude  of  mortals  and  heavenly  quiristers.  Vast  quantities  of 
flowers  were  cast  in  his  pathway,  and  Sumedha,  who  had  on 
an  antelope's  skin,  flung  it  in  the  mire  with  the  grace  of  Sir 
Walter  Raleigh.1 

In  the  Gospel  of  Nicodemus,  a  herald  goes  before  Christ 
into  Pilate's  presence,  and  throws  his  garment  down  for  the 
Saviour  to  walk  over.  Rajagriha  means  "  the  city  of  the 
king,"  and  Buddha's  solemn  entry  with  a  crowd  of  disciples, 
with  banners  and  music  and  incense,  his  footsteps  passing 
along  a  pathway  of  flowers,  is  only  another  version  of  the  same 
story  that  was  told  in  our  last  section,  and  which  is  told  every 
Sunday  in  the  Christian  mass  and  the  Buddhist  temple — the 
passage  of  a  human  soul  from  the  "  wilderness  "  into  the  city 
of  light,  the  city  of  the  great  king.  The  forerunner  of  the 
religion  of  Buddha  was  the  religion  of  Indra  ;  and  the  teaching 
of  John  the  Baptist  preceded  the  teaching  of  Christ. 

Whether  either   entry  is  pure  history  may  be  doubted. 

1  "  Birth  Stories,"  p.  12. 


SECRECY.  193 

The  ingenious  author  of  "  Rabbi  Ben  Joshua  "  holds  that  that 
of  Jesus  was  genuine,  and  rendered  feasible  by  a  popular  move 
ment,  which  awed  for  a  moment  the  dominant  party.  He 
holds,  too,  that  Christ  and  his  followers  really  broke  into  the 
temple  and  overturned  the  stalls  of  the  traffickers  in  doves. 
But  he  says  that  this  proves  him  an  Essene,  for  the  doves  were 
a  necessity  to  the  Jewish  ritual. 

I  see  great  difficulties  in  the  way  of  this  interpretation.  In 
the  first  place,  the  followers  of  Christ  would  have  had  to  deal 
not  with  the  dominant  Jews,  but  the  Roman  soldiers,  who  would 
have  made  short  work  of  an  unarmed  multitude.  In  the 
second  place,  the  dominant  party,  who  three  times  a  day 
called  on  God  to  send  his  curse  on  the  Nazarenes,  would  have 
been  only  too  glad  to  set  the  Roman  soldiers  at  their  secret 
enemies,  and  get  rid  of  them  at  one  fell  swoop.  And  nothing 
could  have  been  more  opposed  to  the  genius  and  policy  of 
Christ  than  such  a  deed  of  violence.  The  overturning  of  the 
money-changers  is  a  beautiful  trope,  like  the  crown  of  thorns 
and  the  rending  of  the  veil  of  the  temple. 

THE  LAST  SUPPER. 

Buddha,  like  Christ,  sate  down  with  his  chief  disciples  to 
a  repast  which  he  knew  was  to  be  his  last.  It  is  recorded 
that  a  young  pig  was  set  before  him,  and  knowing  that  this 
would  cause  his  death,  he  forbade  his  disciples  to  touch  it, 
and  had  the  remainder  buried  after  he  had  partaken  of  it. 
He  announced  that  this  feast  and  the  rice  milk  of  Sujata 
were  the  two  great  feasts  of  his  life.  The  one  had  given  him 
the  Bodhi  or  Gnosis,  and  the  other  emancipation  from  the 
flesh  altogether.1  Much  of  this,  of  course,  is  inserted  in  his 
life  to  connect  it  with  the  two  great  festivals  of  the  year :  the 
Harvest  Festival  or  the  Feast  of  Lanterns,  and  the  Feast  of 
the  New  Year,  which  begins  with  the  Feast  of  the  Dead. 
The  pig  is,  I  suspect,  astronomical,  like  perhaps  the  boar's 
head  at  a  similar  epoch  in  England.  The  Abbe  Hue  was 
astonished  to  find  the  Tibetans  sit  up  solemnly  to  see  the 

1  Bigandet,  pp.  280,  281. 

O 


IQ4  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

old  year  out  and  the  new  year  in.  New  year's  cakes  and 
sweets  and  pantomimes  abounded.  Visits,  as  in  France,  were 
made.1 

"MY   SOUL   IS   EXCEEDINGLY   SORROWFUL,   EVEN   UNTO 

DEATH." 

There  is  a  passage  in  the  life  of  Christ  and  another  in  the 
life  of  Buddha  that  are  puzzling.  Perhaps,  compared  to 
gether,  they  throw  some  light  the  one  on  the  other. 

What  was  the  "cup"  that  Christ  had  to  drink  in  the 
garden  of  Gethsemane,  and  what  was  the  "  garden  ? " 

Turning  to  Buddha,  it  is  recorded  that  shortly  before  his 
death  he  and  his  disciples  were  invited  by  the  courtesan 
Amrapali  to  a  feast  in  her  beautiful  garden.  Almost  imme 
diately  after  the  feast  Buddha  sickened. 

"  The  sharp  pains  of  a  dire  illness,"  he  said,  "  have  come 
upon  me,  even  to  death."  And  when  Ananda,  his  attendant 
monk,  tried  to  comfort  him,  he  added  :  "  My  body  is  as  stiff 
as  if  I  had  taken  poison  !  " 

Shortly  afterwards,  the  Tathagata  repaired  to  the  "village 
of  the  earth "  and  partook  of  his  last  supper,  a  treacherous 
disciple  changing  his  dish.  Great  pains  soon  seized  him,  and 
a  dire  thirst.  Ananda  was  by  him  on  the  banks  of  a  little 
river  called  the  Haranyavati,  and  the  afflicted  old  man  desired 
his  disciple  to  fetch  him  a  sip  of  water.  Carts  were  passing, 
and  the  water  was  foul.  The  southern  version  says  that  by 
a  miracle  Buddha  clarified  it ;  but  in  Mr.  Rockhill's  version, 
the  disciples,  after  Buddha's  death,  bitterly  upbraided  Ananda 
for  giving  the  blessed  one  a  foul  cup  of  water.  They  were 
angry,  too,  that  he  allowed  courtesans  to  anoint  Buddha's 
dead  body  with  their  tears.2 

Mysticism  has  an  infinite  number  of  symbols,  but  only  one 
truth  ;  and  that  is  that  there  is  a  spiritual  state  and  a  material 
state. 

The  latter  is  frequently  symbolized  as  a  garden,  an  impure 
woman,  and  so  on.  Each  symbol  is  balanced  by  its  opposite, 

1  "  Voyages,"  vol.  ii.  p.  374. 

2  "Rockhill,"  pp.  130,  131,  133,  153. 


SECRECY.  195 

for  the  two  are  only  aspects  of  one  truth.  There  is  the 
garden  of  Gethsemane  and  the  garden  of  Paradise ;  the 
"cup"  of  life  and  the  "cup"  of  death;  the  "bread  of  life" 
that  John  the  Baptist  administers  to  the  perfected  novice  ; 
and  the  bread  that  the  Judas,  the  treacherous  disciple,  "  dips 
into." 

And  it  is  significant  that  Amrapali  is  not  painted  as  a 
penitent  Magdalene,  for  she  represents  the  earth-life  that  the 
Buddha  was  leaving.  It  is  quaintly  announced  that  she  was 
the  most  perfect  woman  in  the  world,  and  for  this  reason 
was  forbidden  by  the  king  to  become  a  wife,  a  fact  which 
relegates  her  to  the  groves  of  the  Brahmin  Black  Durga  and 
her  festival  of  the  dead. 

Christianity  has  cast  out  the  seven  devils  of  Mary  of 
Magdala,  the  City  of  the  Tower.  But,  for  all  that,  her  outlines 
still  appear  sharply  limned,  and  her  identity  is  unmistakable. 
She  anoints  Christ's  body  for  the  burial,  and  the  unguent  is 
human  tears.  She  stays  by  Him  at  the  foot  of  the  cross 
when  His  disciples  desert  Him,  and  when  for  the  hyssop  of 
the  Essene  Sacramentum  He  is  offered  the  hyssop  which  is 
presented  on  the  point  of  a  spear.  Finally,  in  the  sepulchre 
she  is  the  first  to  greet  Him,  for,  like  Amrapali,  her  name  is 
Death. 

PORTENTS  AT  THE  DEATH  OF  A  BUDDHA. 

In  Mr.  Rockhill's  "  Life  of  the  Buddha "  it  is  announced 
that  portents  and  miracles  always  take  place  at  the  moment 
of  a  Buddha's  death.  These  occur  when  Ananda,  who  was  a 
Buddha l  after  Sakya  Muni's  death,  and  Mahakasyapa  pass 
away.2  When  the  great  Tathagata  expired,  a  great  earth 
quake  terrified  the  inhabitants  of  the  world,  and  the  "drum 
of  the  gods  "  roared  through  the  vault  of  heaven,  whilst  the 
angels  in  the  sky  covered  their  faces  with  their  hands  and 
rained  down  salt  tears.  The  disciples  were  beside  themselves 
with  grief,  and  rolled  with  pain  on  the  ground.  Ananda  and 
a  companion  disciple  saw  numerous  denizens  of  the  other 
world  in  the  city  of  Kusinagara,  and  by  the  river  Yigdan. 
1  Page  165.  2  Pages  162,  167. 


196  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Kasyapa  encountered  a  man  carrying  a  mandarava  flower, 
and  he  knew  at  once  that  the  great  teacher  was  at  rest,  for  the 
mandarava  flower  blooms  only  in  heaven.1 

"THEY   PARTED   MY   GARMENTS  AMONGST  THEM!" 
The  Abbe   Hue  tells   us   that  the  old   garments  of   the 

Bokte,  or  incarnation  of  Buddha,  are  cut  into  little  strips  and 

prized  immensely.2 

"HE  ROSE  AGAIN  FROM  THE  DEAD." 
In  the  Chinese  version,  Buddha  appeared  after  death : 
"After  his  remains  had  been  'put  in  a  golden  coffin,  which 
then  grew  so  heavy  that  no  one  could  lift  it.  ...  Suddenly 
his  long-deceased  mother,  Maya,  appeared  from  above  bewail 
ing  her  lost  son,  when  the  coffin  lifted  itself  up,  the  lid  sprang 
open,  and  Sakya  Muni  appeared  with  folded  hands  saluting 
his  mother."  3 

This  confirms  what  I  said  about  Maya  Devi  representing 
humanity  as  with  the  Hindoos.  So  clumsy  an  expedient  as 
bringing  her  down  from  heaven  to  see  her  son  who,  according 
to  early  Buddhist  ideas  had  joined  her  there,  would  not  other 
wise  have  been  thought  of. 

TRINITY  IN  UNITY. 

Professor  Kellogg  finds  fault  with  all  who  draw  a  parallel 
between  the  Buddhist  and  Christian  trinities.  The  Buddhist 
trinity  is  Buddha,  Dharma,  Sangria  (Buddha,  the  law,  and  the 
order  of  the  monks),4  which  is,  of  course,  very  different  from 
the  Three  Persons  of  the  Christian  Trinity. 

I  will  write  down  a  very  curious  passage  from  the  earliest 
history  of  the  Christian  Church,  that  of  Hegesippus— 

"  In  every  city  that  prevails  which  the  Law,  the  Lord,  and 
the  prophets  enjoin." 

As  a  monastery  was  called   a  school  of  the  prophets  in 

i  Foucaux,  p.  419.  2  "Voyages,"  vol.  ii.  p.  278. 

3  Eitel,  "  Three  Lectures  on  Buddhism,"  p.  57.  4  Page  184. 


SECRECY.  197 

Palestine — and  in  the  newly  discovered  "Teaching  of  the 
Apostles "  the  early  Christian  missionary  is  called  a  "  Pro 
phet" — is  it  possible  to  get  a  more  literal  translation  of 
Buddha,  Dharma,  and  Sangha  than  this  ? 

But  Professor  Kellogg  has  not  read  every  volume  of  the 
long  list  of  Buddhist  books  that  he  gives  in  his  preface  with 
very  great  attention,  or  he  would  have  known  that  Buddha, 
Dharma,  and  Sangha  on  earth  have  their  prototypes  in  the 
sky  ;  and  that  these  divine  beings  were  at  any  rate  thought 
so  like  the  three  persons  of  the  Christian  Trinity  by  early 
missionaries  and  travellers  in  China  and  elsewhere  that  they 
pronounced  that  this  "trinity  in  unity"  was  evidently  derived 
from  St.  Thomas.1  Father  Tachard  makes  a  similar  an 
nouncement.  The  Buddhist  triad  in  his  view  "renferment 
presque  1'idee  de  la  Trinite,  car  ces  trois  paroles  signifient 
Dieu,  le  verbe  de  Dieu,  et  1'imitateur  de  Dieu."  2 

This  triad  figures  in  the  rituals  of  both  northern  and 
southern  Buddhism. 


BUDDHA. 

"  He  is  the  creator  of  all  the  Buddhas.  He  is  the  creator 
of  Prajna,  and  of  the  world,  himself  unmade." 

"  He  is  the  form  of  all  things,  yet  formless." 

"  Adi  Buddha  is  without  beginning.  He  is  perfect  and 
pure  within  the  essence  of  wisdom  and  absolute  truth.  He 
knows  all  the  past.  His  words  are  ever  the  same.  He  is 
without  second.  He  is  omnipresent."  3 

The  next  citation  is  from  the  ritual  of  Ceylon. 

"  We  believe  in  the  blessed  one,  the  holy  one,  the  author 
of  all  truth,  who  has  fully  accomplished  the  eight  kinds  of 
supernatural  knowledge,  .  .  .  who  came  the  good  journey 
which  led  to  the  Buddhahood,  who  knows  the  universe,  the 
unrivalled  who  has  made  subject  to  him  all  mortal  beings 
whether  in  heaven  or  on  earth,  the  teacher  of  gods  and  men, 

1  Picart,  citing  Purchas,  "  Ceremonies,"  etc.  vol.  vii.  p.  203. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  59. 

3  These  are  cited  by  Mr.  Hodgson  from  the  "  Nama  Sangiti." 


198  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  blessed  Buddha.  Through  life  till  I  reach  Nirvana  will 
I  put  my  trust  in  Buddha."  l 

This  latter  passage  is  from  Ceylon,  where  every  day  the 
following  sentences  are  ejaculated  in  the  temples  : — 

"  I  bow  my  head  to  the  ground  and  worship  the  sacred 
dust  of  his  holy  feet. 

"  If  in  aught  I  have  sinned  against  Buddha, 

"  May  Buddha  forgive  me  my  sin  !  " 

"  I  bow  my  head  to  the  ground  and  worship  Dharma. 

"  If  in  aught  I  have  sinned  against  Dharma, 

"  May  Dharma  forgive  me  my  sin  !  " 

"  I  bow  my  head  to  the  ground  and  worship  Sangria. 

"  If  in  aught  I  have  sinned  against  Sangha, 

"  May  Sangha  forgive  me  my  sin  ! "  2 

DHARMA  OR  PRAJNA  (WISDOM). 

"  I  salute  that  Dharma  who  is  the  wisdom  of  the  unseen 
world  (Prajna  Paramita),  pointing  out  the  way  of  perfect  tran- 
quility  to  mortals,  leading  them  to  the  paths  of  perfect  wisdom, 
who  by  the  testimony  of  the  sages  produced  all  things."  j 

"Whatsoever  spirits  are  present  either  belonging  to  the 
earth  or  living  in  the  air,  let  us  worship  Tathagata  Dharma, 
revered  by  gods  and  men,  may  then  be  salvation."  '4 

SANGHA. 

Sangha,  the  third  person  of  this  trinity,  sprang  from  the 
union  of  Sophia  the  mother  and  Buddha  (Spirit).  The  relations 
between  the  transcendental  Buddha  and  the  mortal  Buddha 
I  have  already  shown  to  be  the  same  as  those  between  En 
Soph  of  the  "  Kabbalah  "  and  the  Heavenly  Man.  Philo's 
God  the  Father  and  the  Logos  his  son  is  based  on  the  same 
idea. 

Our  Holy  Spirit  was  at  first  a  woman,  Sophia,  the  mother. 
The  great  cathedral  in  the  first  capital  of  Christendom  is 

1  "  Buddhist  Credo  in  Ceylon,"  Dickson. 

2  "  Patimokkha,"  p.  5.  3  Hodgson,  p.  142. 
4  "  Sutta  Nipata,"  p.  39,  Fausbol. 


SECRECY.  199 

named  after  her.  God  made  the  world  by  means  of  the 
Word  and  Sophia,1  says  Irenaeus,  with  whom  she  is  also 
a  woman. 

I  will  draw  attention  here  to  a  singularly  neglected  portion 
of  the  Jewish  scriptures,  the  Apocrypha.  I  say  singularly 
neglected,  as  it  formed  part  of  the  scriptures  known  to  Christ 
and  the  higher  Judaism,  and  was  most  of  it  composed  at 
Alexandria.  The  Buddhist  inner  teaching  was  set  forth  in 
compositions  entitled  Prajna  Paramita  (the  wisdom  of  the 
other  bank).  The  higher  Judaism  also  had  its  book  of  Wisdom. 
I  will  make  an  extract. 

"  O  God  of  my  fathers  and  Lord  of  Mercy,  who  hast  made 
all  things  with  the  Word. 

"  And  ordained  man  through  thy  Wisdom  that  he  should 
have  dominion  over  the  creatures  that  Thou  hast  made. 

"  Give  me  Wisdom  that  sitteth  by  Thy  throne,  and  reject 
me  not  from  among  Thy  children.  .  .  . 

"  Wisdom  was  with  Thee  which  knoweth  Thy  works,  and 
was  present  when  Thou  madest  the  world.  .  .  . 

"  O  send  her  out  of  thy  holy  heaven,  and  from  the  throne 
of  Thy  glory,  that  being  present  she  may  labour  with  me. 

"  For  the  corruptible  body  presseth  down  the  soul,  and 
the  earthly  tabernacle  weigheth  down  the  mind  that  museth 
upon  many  things. 

"  And  Thy  counsel  who  hath  known,  except  Thou  give 
wisdom  and  send  the  Holy  Spirit  from  above." 

In  this  passage  we  see  Sophia  personified  as  the  Holy 
Spirit.  She  was  in  existence  before  God  created  the  world. 
This  He  did  by  the  aid  of  the  Logos,  as  in  the  fourth  gospel. 

Immediately  following  the  passage  quoted  it  is  narrated 
what  Sophia  did  for  the  seven  great  prophets,  Adam,  Noah, 
Abraham,  Lot,  Jacob,  Joseph,  Moses.  These  are  supposed 
by  some  to  be  the  seven  messengers  of  the  Apocalypse. 

Here  are  a  few  more  verses  about  Sophia — 

"  She  is  the  breath  of  the  power  of  God. 

"  She  is  the  brightness  of  the  everlasting  light,  the 
unspotted  mirror  of  the  power  of  God. 

1  "  Hser.,"  iv.  20. 


200 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


"  Being  one  she  can  do  all  things,  and  remaining  in  herself 
she  maketh  all  things  new."  l 

"  She  is  privy  to  the  mysteries  of  the  knowledge  of  God."  5 

She  appears  constantly  in 
the  catacombs.  The  figure, 
known  as  the  Orante,  is  a 
representation  of  her,  not  pray 
ing,  but  supporting  the  Kos- 
mos ;  as  in  India,  it  is  simi 
larly  supported  by  Krishna,  or 
Hanuman.  A  female,  with 
arms  in  a  similar  attitude,  is 
seen  constantly  in  the  old 
Buddhist  bas-reliefs.  We  see 
her  here  standing  on  the  kos- 
mical  lily  or  lotus  (Fig.  15). 
She  is  the  "Bride"  of  the 
Apocalypse. 

In  the  Indian  religion  it 
was  feigned  that  the  ecliptic,  or 
circle  of  the  year,  was  a  great 
serpent  with  his  tail  in  his 
mouth — Ananta,  the  Endless. 

This  serpent  was  supposed 
to  be  cut  in  half,  and  to  become 
two  serpents  which  represented  Summer,  or  the  period  of  life, 
and  Winter,  or  the  period  of  death.  These  two  serpents,  as 
Ketu  and  Rahu,  also  represented  good  and  evil  with  the 
Buddhists  and  Brahmins. 

The  word  "  union  "  is  the  keystone  of  all  ancient  myste 
ries.  With  the  Brahmins  this  was  yoga.  With  the  Buddhists 
it  was  sangha.  In  early  Christianity  it  was  the  mystic 
"marriage."  Buddha  (heaven,  spirit,  the  universal  father) 
was  allied  to  Dharma  (earth,  matter,  the  universal  mother), 
and  from  the  union  was  born  the  mystic  child. 

The  favourite  way  of  representing  these  two  mystic  ser 
pents  was  as  twined  round  the  "  Rod   of  Hermes "  (Fig.  2, 
1  Chap.  vii.  v.  25,  et  seq.  1  Chap.  viii.  v.  4. 


Fig-  15- 


PLATE  VIII. 


Fig.  i. 


Fig.    2. 


Burmah 


TRIRATNA    OUTLINE. 


[Page  200. 


PLATE  IX. 


Fig.  2. 


Fig.  i. 


Jamalgiri. 


Fig.  4. 


Father,  Mother,  and  Marttanda. 


Serapis  Shell  and  Marttanda. 


THE  GNOSTIC   TRIAD. 


[Page  201. 


SECRECY.  201 

Plate  VIII.,  from  the  early  Buddhist  tope  of  Sanchi).  In  an 
ornamental  form  (Figs.  3  and  4)  this  became  the  Trisul  or 
Triratna  outline,  the  most  holy  symbol  of  Buddhism. 
Buddha's  head  (Fig.  5)  has,  I  think,  its  very  long  ears  to 
make  up  the  same  outline.  Fig.  6  is  a  magic  tortoise  from 
Tibet,  and  here  we  have  the  same  outline  in  another  form. 
In  Buddhism  it  is  everywhere.  Fig.  I,  a  head  of  Christ 
from  the  catacombs,  whether  by  accident  or  design,  makes 
up  the  same  symbol  of  the  mystic  "  union."  In  Greece  it 
was  feigned  that  Jupiter  and  Rhea,  disguised  as  serpents,  had 
produced  this  symbol.  This  was  the  explanation  of  the  Rod 
of  Hermes. 

The  two  serpents  in  Alexandrian  Gnosticism  were  the  legs 
of  the  mystic  I.  A.  w.  Compare  Fig.  2,  Plate  IX.,  with  Fig.  I, 
from  the  Buddhist  tope  of  Jamalgiri.  In  Figs.  4  and  5  we 
see  Buddha's  symbol  of  the  elephant  as  one  limb  of  the  triad, 
a  strong  proof  that  Buddhism  was  in  Alexandria.  Fig.  3  is 
Serapis,  whose  head  is  said  to  have  suggested  the  conven 
tional  Christ.  According  to  Gibbon,  Christianity  and  Serapis 
worship  in  Alexandria  were  at  one  time  scarcely  dis 
tinguishable. 


2O2  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

Ritual  — Saint  Worship— Cosmology— Progress  of  Buddhism— Indul 
gences — Dispensations — Councils  to  put  down  Heresy — Close  simi 
larities  in  the  Election  of  the  Grand  Lama  and  the  Pope. 

RITUAL. 

In  my  work,  "  Buddha  and  Early  Buddhism,"  occurred 
the  following  passage  :  — 

"  The  French  missionary  Hue,  in  his  celebrated  travels  in 
Tibet,  was  much  struck  with  the  similarity  that  exists 
between  Buddhist  and  Roman  Catholic  rites  and  customs. 

"  The  crozier,  the  mitre,  the  dalmatic,  the  cope  or  pluvial, 
which  the  grand  lamas,  wear  on  a  journey,  or  when  they 
perform  some  ceremony  outside  the  temple,  the  service  with 
a  double  choir,  psalmody,  exorcisms,  the  censer  swinging  on 
five  chains,  and  contrived  to  be  opened  or  shut  at  will,  bene 
diction  by  the  lamas  with  the  right  hand  extended  over  the 
heads  of  the  faithful,  the  chaplet,  sacerdotal  celibacy,  lenten 
retirements  from  the  world,  the  worship  of  saints,  fasts,  pro 
cessions,  litanies,  holy  water — these  are  the  points  of  contact 
between  the  Buddhists  and  ourselves."  The  good  Abbe  has 
by  no  means  exhausted  the  list,  and  might  have  added  "  con 
fessions,  tonsure,  relic  worship,  the  use  of  flowers,  lights, 
and  images  before  shrines  and  altars,  the  sign  of  the  cross, 
the  Trinity  in  unity,  the  worship  of  the  queen  of  heaven,  the 
use  of  religious  books  in  a  tongue  unknown  to  the  bulk  of 
the  worshippers,  the  aureole  or  nimbus,  the  crown  of  saints 
and  Buddhas,  wings  to  angels,  penance,  flagellations,  the 
flabellum  or  fan,  popes,  cardinals,  bishops,  abbots,  presbyters, 
deacons,  the  various  architectural  details  of  the  Christian 


RITUAL.  203 

temple,"  etc.1  To  this  list  Balfour's  "  Cyclopaedia  of  India  " 
adds  "  amulets,  medicines,  illuminated  missals ; "  and  Mr. 
Thomson  ("Illustrations  of  China,"  vol.  ii.  p.  1 8),  "  baptism, 
the  mass,  requiems." 

Mr.  Pfoundes,  a  gentleman  who  has  resided  for  eight  years 
in  a  Buddhist  monastery,  tells  me  that  when  the  monks  enter 
the  temple  for  the  first  time  of  a  morning,  they  make  the 
precise  gesture  which  Catholics  call  the  sign  of  the  cross. 
They  mean  by  this  to  invoke  the  four  cardinal  points  as 
a  symbol  of  God. 

Listen,  also,  to  Father  Disderi,  who  visited  Tibet  in  the 
year  1714 — 

"  The  lamas  have  a  tonsure  like  our  priests,  and  are  bound 
over  to  perpetual  celibacy.  They  study  their  scriptures  in 
a  language  and  characters  that  differ  from  the  ordinary 
characters ;  they  recite  prayers  in  choir ;  they  serve  the 
temple,  present  the  offerings,  and  keep  the  lamps  perpetually 
alight ;  they  offer  to  God  corn,  and  barley,  and  paste,  and 
water  in  little  vases,  which  are  extremely  clean.  Food  thus 
offered  is  considered  consecrated,  and  they  eat  it.  The  lamas 
have  local  superiors,  and  a  superior  general."  2 

The  lamas  told  the  father  that  their  holy  books  were  very 
like  his.3  When  he  asked  them  whether  Buddha  was  God  or 
man,  they  replied  god  and  man.  He  furthermore  describes 
the  high  altar  of  a  temple  covered  with  a  cloth  and  contain 
ing  a  little  tabernacle,  where  Buddha  was  said  to  reside. 
Cross-examined  by  the  father,  the  lamas  said  that  he  lived  in 
heaven  as  well.4 

The  Catholics  use  a  "  tabernacle  "  for  the  sacred  elements  ; 
and  whilst  they  are  there,  a  lamp  is  perpetually  burning, 
which,  like  a  similar  Buddhist  light,  represents  God's  presence. 
"  Adi  Buddha  is  light,"  say  the  Buddhists. 

Father  Grueber,  who,  with  another  priest  named  Dorville, 
passed  from  Pekin  through  Tibet  to  Patna  in  the  year  1661, 
published  an  interesting  narrative  of  his  journey,  with  ex- 

1  "  Buddha  and  Early  Buddhism,"  p.  180. 

2  "  Lettres  Edifiantes,"  vol.  iii.  p.  534. 

3  Ibid.,  p.  534.  *  Ibid.,  p.  533. 


204  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

cellent  illustrations.  Henry  Prinsep  thus  sums  up  the  points 
that  chiefly  attracted  the  father — 

"  Father  Grueber  was  much  struck  with  the  extraordinary 
similarity  he  found,  as  well  in  the  doctrine  as  in  the  rituals  of 
the  Buddhists  of  Lha  Sa,  to  those  of  his  own  Romish  faith. 
He  noticed,  first,  that  the  dress  of  the  lamas  corresponded  with 
that  handed  down  to  us  in  ancient  paintings  as  the  dress  of 
the  apostles  ;  second,  that  the  discipline  of  the  monasteries, 
and  of  the  different  orders  of  lamas  or  priests,  bore  the  same 
resemblance  to  that  of  the  Romish  Church  ;  third,  that  the 
notion  of  an  incarnation  was  common  to  both,  so  also  the 
belief  in  paradise  and  purgatory  ;  fourth,  he  remarked  that 
they  made  suffrages,  alms,  prayers,  and  sacrifices,  for  the 
dead,  like  the  Roman  Catholics  ;  fifth,  that  they  had  convents 
filled  with  monks  and  friars  to  the  number  of  thirty  thousand 
near  Lha  Sa,  who  all  made  the  three  vows  of  poverty, 
obedience,  and  chastity,  like  Roman  monks,  besides  other 
vows  ;  and  sixth,  that  they  had  confessors  licensed  by  the 
superior  lamas  or  bishops,  and  so  empowered  to  receive  con 
fessions,  impose  penances,  and  give  absolution.  Besides  all 
this,  there  was  found  the  practice  of  using  holy  water,  of 
singing  service  in  alternation,  of  praying  for  the  dead,  and 
of  perfect  similarity  in  the  costumes  of  the  great  and  superior 
lamas  to  those  of  the  different  orders  of  the  Romish  hierarchy. 
These  early  missionaries  further  were  led  to  conclude  from 
what  they  saw  and  heard  that  the  ancient  books  of  the  lamas 
contained  traces  of  the  Christian  religion  which  must,  they 
thought,  have  been  preached  in  Tibet  in  the  time  of  the 
apostles."  1 

The  Abbe  Prouveze,  in  his  biography  of  the  French 
missionary,  Gabriel  Durand,  says  that  the  points  of  similarity 
between  Tibetan  Buddhism  and  Christianity  are  far  too 
minute  to  do  away  with  the  ideas  of  plagiarism.  "  The 
government  of  Tibet  is  borrowed  from  the  ecclesiastical 
government  of  the  States  of  the  Church."  2  The  Delai  lama 
is  like  the  pope,  and  his  election  very  similar.  "  The  gospel 
has  already  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Tartars,  with  the 

1  Prinsep,  "Tibet,  Tartary,"  etc.  p.  14.  2  Vol.  ii.  p.  365. 


PLATE  X. 


THE    BUDDHIST    VIRGIN    AND    CHILD. 


{Page  205. 


RITUAL.  205 

Christian  hierarchy  and  celibacy."  St.  Hyacinth  of  Poland 
and  St.  Oderic  of  Frioul,  who  visited  Tibet  in  the  fourteenth 
century,  may  have  effected  this  propagandism.1  "  The  cross,' 
pursues  the  Abbe,  alluding  perhaps  to  the  Buddhist  Swastika, 
"  has  remained  enshrined  amongst  the  arid  rocks  of  Tibet  as 
a  sign  of  salvation."2  But  greater  proofs  of  Christian  pro 
pagandism  are  in  reserve.  The  Abbe  points  out  that  the 
Chinese  know  all  about  the  Virgin  Mother.  A  "  missionary 
of  Kiang  Si "  reports  that  he  has  seen  statues  of  her  holding 
an  infant  child  in  her  arms,  and  treading  down  the  serpent 
with  her  feet.  By  this  statue  stood  a  solemn  man  surrounded 
by  ten  smaller  statues.  These,  he  thinks,  were  St.  Joseph 
and  the  shepherds,  though  I  fear  that  they  were  the  disciples 
and  Buddha.  Other  statues  of  Kwan  Yin  have  each  a 
descending  dove  on  the  head  and  a  child  in  her  arms.  They 
bear  for  inscription,  "  The  Mother  who  delivers  the  world." 
This  mother  is  declared  to  be  ever  virgin.  The  Abbe  Prouveze 
is  aware,  however,  that  Kwan  Yin  is  much  earlier  historically 
than  the  Virgin  Mary,  for  he  starts  a  second  theory  that  the 
idea  was  plagiarized  from  an  old  Testament  in  the  synagogue 
that  the  Jews  had  in  China  two  hundred  years  before  Christ.3 

Here  is  a  passage  from  the  life  of  Gabriel  Durand — 

"There  [in  the  pagoda  of  the  Bell  Pekin]  we  saw  a 
Buddhist  priest  dressed  almost  exactly  like  a  Benedictine, 
a  kind  of  arch  of  alliance,  shewbread  (pains  de  proposition) 
on  the  altar,  vases  like  our  holy  water,  and  censers." 4 

Let  us  now  consider  the  Buddhist  ritual  a  little  more 
closely,  selecting  a  liturgy  given  to  us  by  Professor  Beal — 

"  The  form  of  this  office  is  a  very  curious  one.  It  bears 
a  singular  likeness  in  its  outline  to  the  common  type  of  the 
Eastern  Christian  liturgies.  That  is  to  say,  there  is  a  '  Pro- 
anaphoral '  and  an  *  Anaphoral '  portion  ;  there  is  a  prayer  of 
entrance  (rij?  ao-oSou),  a  prayer  of  incense  (rou  Ov/uiafjiaTo^, 
an  ascription  of  praise  to  the  threefold  object  of  worship 
(rpurayiov),  a  prayer  of  oblation  (rfc  irpoaOtatwe),  the  Lections, 
the  recitation  of  the  Dharani  (juu<m/ptoi;),  the  Embolismus  or 

1  Vol.  ii.  p.  363.  2  Vol.  ii.  p.  263. 

3  Vol.  i.  p.  422.  4  "  Gabriel  Durand,"  vol.  i.  p.  493. 


206  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

prayer  against  temptation,  followed  by  a  Confession  and  a 
Dismissal."  l 

This  similarity  is  so  close,  that  the  Professor  believes  it  to 
be  a  Christian  liturgy  imported  by  the  Nestorians  at  an  early 
date. 

In  the  pathway  of  this  theory  there  are,  however,  con 
siderable  difficulties.  In  every  other  Buddhist  country  visited 
by  early  Christian  missionaries  were  found  traces  of  a  similar 
propagandism.  The  services  were  all  alike — incense,  flowers, 
oblations,  praise  of  the  Trinity,  confessions,  hymns.  This 
active  "  Nestorian,"  if  he  converted  one  Buddhist  country, 
must  have  converted  all,  presenting  thus  a  striking  contrast 
to  modern  preachers  who,  even  in  Buddhist  countries  that 
have  been  one  hundred  years  under  Christian  sway,  make  no 
impression  at  all.  Besides  this,  the  Nestorians  were  Unitarians. 

In  the  central  "mystery"  the  Buddhists  use  water  and  not 
wine,  and  condemn  the  Christian  bloody  atonement  symbolized 
by  the  latter.  How  is  it  that  this  mysterious  teacher,  if  he 
could  effect  so  much,  stopped  short  where  he  did  ? 

Another  point  suggests  itself.  Ritual  has  one  indelible 
record — the  temple.  The  tope  in  the  plain  and  the  rock 
temple  in  the  bowels  of  the  mountain  are  exactly  fitted  for 
the  Buddhist  rites  ;  and  the  dates  of  these  are  long  before  the 
birth  of  Christ 

Mr.  James  Fergusson  was  of  opinion  that  the  various 
details  of  the  early  Christian  Church,  nave,  aisles,  columns, 
semi-domed  apse,  cruciform  ground  plan,  were  borrowed  en 
bloc  from  the  Buddhists.2  He  adduces  the  rock-cut  cave 
temple  of  Karli,  in  the  west  of  India,  whose  date  he  fixes  at 
78  B.C. 

"  The  building  resembles  to  a  great  extent  an  early  Chris 
tian  church  in  its  arrangements,  consisting  of  a  nave  and  side 
aisles,  terminating  in  an  apse  or  semi-dome,  round  which  the 
aisle  is  carried.  ...  As  a  scale  for  comparison,  it  may  be 
mentioned  that  its  arrangements  and  dimensions  are  very 

1  Beal,  "  Catena  of  Buddhist  Scriptures,"  p.  397. 

2  "Indian  and  Eastern  Architecture,"  p.  117.     "Rude  Stone  Monu 
ments,"  p.  603,  etc. 


RITUAL.  207 

similar  to  those  of  the  choir  of  Norwich  Cathedral,  and  of  the 
Abbaye  aux  Hommes,  at  Caen,  omitting  the  outer  aisles  in 
the  latter  buildings.  Immediately  under  the  semi-dome  of 
the  apse,  and  nearly  where  the  altar  stands  in  Christian 
churches,  is  placed  the  Dagopa." 1  The  Dagopa  is  the 
Baldechino  or  canopy  containing,  as  Mr.  Fergusson  points 
out,  in  both  religions  the  relics  of  a  saint. 

Here  we  have  already,  many  years  before  Christ's  birth, 
an  apparatus  plainly  adapted  for  early  Christian  rites.  These 
were  divided  into  two  sections.  There  was  a  "  mass  of  the 
catechumens,"  which  took  place  in  the  body  of  the  cathedral. 
Then  these  were  expelled,  and  what  is  called  the  "  Liturgia 
Mystica  "  was  used.  This  was  the  Oblation  of  Bread,  as  Ter- 
tullian  calls  it;  the  Bloodless  Sacrifice,  as  it  is  termed  in  the 
Liturgy  of  St.  James,  which  is  considered  by  scholars  the 
earliest  Christian  ritual.  The  Bema  was  now  approached  by 
the  chanting  choristers.  This  represented  heaven  ;  and  the 
marriage  of  the  bread  and  wine,  the  birth  of  the  mystic 
Christ,  the  word  made  flesh. 

Into  what  the  Buddhists  call  the  "  main  court  of  the 
temple,"  which  represents  earth  and  earth  life,  the  first  pro 
cession  of  chanting  monks  comes.  This  is  called  the  "  Lesser 
Entrance."  The  second  entrance,  after  the  expulsion  of  the 
catechumens,  is  called  the  "  Greater  Entrance,"  when  the 
Buddhist  monks  march  slowly  and  reverently  to  the  sanctuary, 
and  march  round  it  three  times.  "  I  will  compass  thine 
altar,"  said  the  Psalmist  (Ps.  xxvi.  6). 

I  give  the  Buddhist  high  altar  with  its  lower  altar  in  front, 
like  that  of  the  Catholics,  with  its  lamp  perpetually  burning 
like  theirs,  its  artificial  flowers,  thurifers,  and  tall  candlesticks 
•with  wax  candles  made  out  of  a  vegetable  wax.  Votive 
tablets  like  doll's  tombstones  crowd  it  with  offerings  to  the 
dead.  In  the  Middle  Ages,  Catholic  churches  were  similarly 
choked.  In  front  of  Buddha  is  the  Sambo,  a  three-sided  box, 
hollow  behind.  Always  in  front  of  it  is  represented  the  cross, 
made  up  of  four  circles,  the  four  stages  of  spiritual  growth. 
"  I  regard  the  sacred  altar  as  a  royal  gem,  on  which  the 
1  "  Indian  and  Eastern  Architecture,"  p.  117. 


208  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

shadow  (spirit)  of  S'akya  Tathagata  appears"  (See  Plate 
.XIII.,  p.  2IO).1  This  is  from  the  Chinese  ritual,  and  the 
accompanying  bas-relief  from  Amaravati  reminds  one  of 
the  Armenian  collect  which  describes  Christ  with  His  saints 
as  also  descending  in  the  chariot  of  the  four  fiery  faces.2 

SAINT-WORSHIP. 

I  now  come  to  a  very  important  point,  saint-worship.  The 
Jews,  as  we  know,  believed  that  soul  and  body  were  inseparable, 
that  both  went  to  sheol  (the  cave) ;  and  later  on  came  the 
idea  of  a  universal  resurrection  of  the  dead,  and  a  universal 
judgment,  ideas  that  have  been  transferred  to  Christian 
creeds. 

I  will  first  of  all  cite  a  passage  from  the  Persian  scripture, 
the  Boundehesch — 

"After  that  the  angel  Sosiosch  will  raise  the  dead,  as 
promised,  by  the  power  of  Ormuzd.  This  resurrection  will  be 
certainly  seen.  Veins  will  be  restored  to  the  body  ;  and  this 
resurrection  once  made  will  not  be  repeated."  This  resur 
rection  is  called  in  a  previous  passage,  "the  resurrection  of  the 
dead,  and  the  re-establishment  of  the  body."  3 

After  this  resurrection  of  the  body  will  come,  as  we  learn 
from  the  same  scripture,  a  last  judgment. 

"Then  will  appear  on  earth  the  assemblage  of  all  the 
beings  of  the  world  with  man.  In  this  gathering  each  will  see 
the  good  and  the  evil  that  he  has  done.  .  .  .  Then  the  just 
will  be  separated  from  the  darvands.  The  just  will  go  to 
Gorotman.  The  darvands  will  be  precipitated  into  the 
Douzakh.  .  .  .  The  father  will  be  separated  from  the  mother, 
the  sister  from  the  brother."  4 

We  see  from  this  where  the  Lower  Judaism  got  its  ideas 
about  a  resurrection  of  the  material  body,  and  the  last  judgment. 

But  on  the  top  of  this  has  been  superposed  a  second  idea, 
which  contradicts  and  stultifies  the  first  in  every  particular — 
saint-worship. 

1  Beal,  "Catena  of  Buddhist  Scriptures/'  p.  243. 

2  See  ante,  p.  13. 

3  "  Boundehesch,"  chap.  xxxi.  4  Ibid.,  ch.  xxxi. 


RITUAL.  209 

In  2  Maccabees  xv.  15,  the  dead  prophet  Jeremiah  revisits 
earth.  He  appears  to  Judas  Maccabeus  holding  a  sword. 
"  Take  this  holy  sword,  a  gift  from  God,  with  the  which  thou 
shalt  wound  the  adversaries." 

White-robed  saints  and  their  heaven  figure  conspicuously 
in  the  earliest  scripture  written  by  a  personal  follower  of 
Christ,  the  Apocalypse.  Plainly,  too,  Christ  knew  nothing  of 
the  idea  that  the  soul  after  death  d\velt  in  a  torpid  state  with 
the  worms  and  decomposing  matter  of  its  body  in  the 
sepulchre,  as  proved  by  the  promise  to  the  penitent  thief,  the 
story  of  Lazarus  and  Dives,  the  appearance  of  Moses  and 
Elias.  Also  He  promised  to  go  and  prepare  places  for  His 
disciples  in  the  "  many  mansions  "  of  heaven  ;  and  adjudicated 
in  the  squabble  of  His  disciples  for  the  privilege  of  sitting  on 
His  right  or  left  hand.  Had  He  held^the  popular  Jewish  views, 
He  would  have  had  to  explain  that  the  figures  seen  on  the 
transfiguration  mount  could  not  possibly  be  Moses  and  Elias, 
for  these  will  remain  unconscious  until  the  sound  of  the  great 
trumpet. 

Saint-worship  emerges  conspicuously  in  the  earliest  Chris 
tian  monuments.  In  the  Catacombs  each  chapel  was  the 
shrine  of  a  saint,  and  each  altar  the  lid  of  a  sarcophagus. 
Immense  exertions  were  made  at  a  martyrdom  to  save  the 
dead  body,  or  at  least  a  few  bones,  or  a  sponge  dipped  in 
blood.  The  Council  of  Carthage,  cited  by  Cardinal  Wiseman, 
decreed  that  all  altars  should  be  "  overturned  by  the  bishop  of 
the  place  which  are  erected  about  the  fields  and  roads  as  in 
memory  of  martyrs,  in  which  is  not  a  body  nor  any  relics."  1 
"  God  dwells  in  the  bones  of  the  martyrs,"  says  St.  Ephrem  ; 
"  and  by  His  power  and  presence  miracles  are  wrought."  He 
further  asserted  that  when  St.  Ignatius  "  laid  down  his  life,  he 
returned  again  crowned."  2 

On  the  grave  of  the  martyr  Sabbatius  in  the  catacombs 
is  this  inscription  :  "  Sabbatius,  sweet  soul,  pray  and  entreat 
for  thy  brethren  and  comrades."  3 

This  saint-worship,  tomb-worship,  corpse-worship  was  con- 

1  Can.  XIV.,  Cone.  Gen.,  torn.  ii.  p.  1272.        2  Ibid.,  torn.  v.  p.  340. 
3  Wiseman's  "  Lectures  of  the  Catholic  Church,"  ii.  105. 

F 


210  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

spicuous  in  early  Buddhism.  Its  first  temple  was  the  tumulus 
containing  a  relic  of  Buddha,  or  the  charred  ashes  of  the  body 
of  Sariputra,  Ananda,  or  other  of  the  saints.  Conspicuous 
saints  had  each  his  tumulus,  or  tope,  in  many  cities,  and  his 
saint's  day,  when  the  devout  offered  him  flowers  and  food. 
The  Great  Vehicle,  or  school  of  nihilism  shook  this  saint- 
worship,  but  only  superficially.  When  the  P.  Morales  visited 
Manilla,  he  was  told  that  the  saints  had  enormous  power,  that 
they  "  were  seated  to  the  right  and  left  of  God."  l 

We  have  seen  that  many  hold  that  all  that  is  like  Chris 
tianity  in  Buddhism  was  derived  from  Christian  sources.  I 
think  that  this  question  of  the  status  of  saints  is  therefore 
very  important.  For  we  see  at  the  very  source  of  Christianity 
two  internecine  eschatologies  struggling  together,  the  Jewish 
and  Buddhist.  Illogically  the  church  eventually  adopted 
both.  Now,  if  Buddhism  had  been  derived  from  Christianity, 
we  should  have  seen  similar  contradictions.  The  Buddhist 
monks  would  have  announced  that  the  good  man  after  death 
is  at  one  and  the  same  time — 

1.  Unconscious  in  the  tomb  awaiting  the  sound  of  a  trumpet. 

2.  Conscious  in  the  sky  at  the  right  hand  of  God. 

The  earliest  Christian  liturgies  were  called  "  Laudes." 
The  earliest  Buddhist  liturgy  was  called  "  Sapta  Buddha 
Stotra  "  (the  Praise  of  the  Seven  Buddhas).  Oddly  enough, 
in  the  Catholic  "Litany  of  all  the  Saints,"  seven  principal 
beings  are  addressed — the  angels  Michael,  Gabriel,  and 
Raphael,  the  Three  Persons  of  the  Trinity,  and  the  Virgin. 
Plainly  these  last  have  been  substituted  for  the  other  four 
angels  of  Kabbalistic  worship.  After  these  seven  there  is  a 
general  invocation  to  "  angels,  holy  angels,  and  happy  spirits," 
and  to  the  minor  saints,  as  in  Buddhism. 

PURGATORY. 

I  have  asked  Catholics  how  it  is  that  saints  can  be  residing 
in   heaven  before  they  can   possibly  have  been  judged  and 
pronounced  saints.     They  say  that  it  is  a  miracle.     This,  to 
1  Picart,  "  Ceremonies,"  etc.  vol.  vii.  p.  216. 


PLATE  XIII. 


BL'DDHA    APPEARING    AT    THE    ALTAR    DURING    WORSHIP.  {Page   2IO. 

From  Amaravati. 


RITUAL.  2  1 1 

my  mind,  fails  not  only  to  explain,  but  to  appreciate  the 
difficulty.  Besides,  it  is  not  only  the  question  of  saints  that 
stultifies  the  Apostles'  Creed.  Much,  indeed  most,  of  the 
mechanism  of  the  Catholic  Church  is  designed  to  extricate 
the  souls  of  laymen  from  purgatory  as  soon  as  possible  after 
death.  It  is  the  same  in  Buddhism,  but  in  that  Creed  we 
know  how  the  doctrine  was  built  up.  In  early  Vedic  days 
folks  believed  in  an  eternal  heaven  but  no  hell.  By-and-by 
the  notion  of  a  place  of  expiation  was  added.  Then  the 
priests  of  India  or  Egypt  invented  the  doctrine  of  the  metem 
psychosis  to  account  for  their  caste  privileges.  It  was  taught 
that  the  Karma,  or  causation  of  good  or  evil  actions,  ushered 
a  man  into  a  new  birth  as  a  parrot  or  a  princess,  a  jackdaw 
or  a  banker,  according  to  its  quality.  But  an  early  creed  is 
not  easily  superseded  in  the  mind  of  a  people,  and  it  was 
found  necessary  to  tack  on  the  Vedic  hell  and  heaven  as  tem 
porary  places  of  reward  and  expiation  as  well  ;  men  not 
inquiring  too  nicely  why,  if  the  causation  of  a  bandit's  crimes 
plunged  him  into  the  hell  Avichi  for  three  centuries,  it  should 
be  at  all  necessary  after  that  to  bring  him  back  to  earth  as  a 
pilfering  jackal.  These  Buddhist  contradictions  are  of  value 
to  our  inquiry.  Given  the  gross  absurdity  of  an  unintelli 
gent  causation  sentencing  people  to  be  boiled  in  hot  oil,  the 
Buddhist  system  has  its  logic.  Not  so  that  of  the  Catholics. 
My  grandfather  died  three  weeks  ago.  He  is  in  purgatory,  I 
am  told,  but  masses  for  his  soul  may  much  shorten  the  period 
of  his  stay  there.  Who  sent  him  to  purgatory  ?  Not  Christ, 
for  He  has  not  yet  come  to  judge  the  quick  and  the  dead. 
Not  Karma,  for  the  Catholic  Church  ignores  Buddhism. 

In  point  of  fact  we  again  see  two  conflicting  eschatologies, 
the  Jewish  and  the  Buddhist ;  and  their  union  brings  about 
many  necessary  contradictions. 

COSMOLOGY. 

In  Vedic  days,  the  Indians  had  seven  heavens,  as  Cole- 
brooke  teaches.  The  highest  was  the  unchangeable  Heaven 
of  Brahma.1  The  Buddhists  took  over  these  seven  heavens, 

1  Colebrooke,  "  Essays,"  vol.  i.  pp.  129,  130. 


212  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

including  the  heaven  of  Brahma,  where  spirits  enfranchised 
from  returns  to  earth,  for  ever  dwell. 

In  the  "  Testimony  of  the  Twelve  Patriarchs,"  a  Christian 
work  of  a  very  early  date,  we  get  the  seven  Jewish  heavens- 

1.  A  heaven  of  sadness,  owing  to  its  proximity  to  man. 

2.  Full  of  fires  and  scourges,  and  ice  and  snow.     Scourges 
and  fire  in  paradise  is  very  Jewish. 

3.  Celestial  cohorts,  destined  to  triumph  over  the   spirit 

of  evil. 

4.  Heaven  of  the  saints  enthroned  in  glory. 

5.  Heaven    of  the   angels,    offering   a    reasonable,  not    a 
bloody,  sacrifice,  and  interceding  with  God. 

6.  Heaven  of  the  high  angels.    They  carry  the  messages 
of  the  angels  of  the  Face  of  God. 

7.  The  Most   High,  surrounded  by  "powers,"   "thrones," 
etc.     In  this  heaven  is    the  great  throne    and  the   heavenly 
temple. 

Here,  again,  we  get  Buddhist  derivation.  To  a  Jew,  who 
believed  that  the  soul  remained  wedded  to  the  disintegrating 
chemicals,  which  he  miscalled  the  body,  until  a  universal 
judgment,  of  what  use  would  be  heaven  number  four,  the 
heaven  of  the  saints?  Plainly  there  could ,  be  no  saints 
until  after  this  universal  judgment  had  settled  who  were  the 
saints. 

In  point  of  fact,  in  Christian  cosmology,  these  saints 
promptly  usurped  the  functions  of  the  earlier  mythological 
beings.  The  earth  was  supposed  by  early  Christians  to  be 
a  large,  flat,  rectangle,  twice  as  long  as  it  was  broad.  In 
the  centre  of  the  earth  was  hell,  with  its  circles  of  fire,  sulphur, 
ice,  dung,  vipers,  red-hot  iron  for  heretics,  and  so  on.  Moses, 
talking  of  the  tabernacle,  which  he  says  is  the  image  of  the 
earth,  says  that  its  length  was  two  cubits,  and  its  breadth 
one.  That  gives  us  the  proportions,  says  Flammarion  ;  who 
gives  also  the  map  of  the  world  by  Cosmas  in  the  sixth 
century.  A  guardian  is  depicted  at  each  side  of  the  paral 
lelogram.1  These  in  Buddhism  are  the  four  Maharajas,  in 
Christian  cosmology,  they  soon  became  Matthew,  Mark, 
1  "  Histoire  du  Ciel,"  p.  3O1- 


RITUAL.  213 

Luke,  and  John.  Around  the  rim  of  heaven,  figured  as  a 
mountain,  the  holy  Zion,  were  the  twelve  apostles,  figuring 
as  the  twelve  aeons,  a  Greek  term  for  the  Buddhas  who 
stand  at  the  twelve  points  of  space.  St.  Peter  became 
Janus,  the  celestial  door-keeper,  with  his  key  and  beard. 
St.  Anthony  presided  over  the  Palilia,  the  feast  of  the  cattle, 
the  Indian  Pongal.  By-and-by,  there  was  a  saint  for  every 
infirmity  of  the  body,  as  in  Pagan  Rome  there  had  been 
a  god  for  every  disease  ;  St.  Petronella,  for  gout  and  ague  ; 
St.  Romanus,  for  those  that  were  possessed  ;  St.  Valentine,  for 
the  falling  sickness.1 

The  heaven  of  Indra,  as  described  in  the  Buddhist  writ 
ings,  is  very  like  the  heaven  of  St.  John.  There  is  a  "high 
mountain,"  and  a  city  "  four  square,"  with  gates  of  gold  and 
silver,  adorned  with  precious  stones.  Seven  moats  surround 
the  city,  and  beyond  the  last  range  is  a  row  of  marble 
pillars,  studded  with  jewels.  The  great  throne  of  the  God 
stands  in  the  centre  of  a  great  hall,  surmounted  with  a  white 
canopy.  Trees  that  bear  constant  fruits  are  there,  and  the 
gem  lake,  with  the  peaches  of  immortality.  Round  the 
throne  are  seated  subordinate  heavenly  ministers,  who  record 
men's  actions  in  a  "  golden  book."  5 

THE  SIGN  OF  THE  CROSS. 

In  the  account  of  the  "Churning  of  the  Ocean,"  in  the 
Mahabharata,  the  Indian  signs  of  the  zodiac  are  covertly 
detailed.  The  fish  figures  as  Chakra,  the  terrible  projectile 
of  Vishnu,  as  of  Thor.  In  all  the  epics  it  is  being  constantly 
alluded  to  as  one  of  the  treasures  of  the  Sun-God,  like  the 
horse,  the  boar,  the  kaustabha  gem,  etc.,  which 
are  all  zodiacal.  In  early  coins  this  cross  (the 
Swastika)  is  formed  by  two  serpents,  the  great 
Father  and  Mother.  A  similar  idea  is  expressed 
in  passages  of  the  Mahabharata. 

"  Beneath  the  trenchant  Chakra  he  saw  guard 
ing  the  Amrita  two  immense  and  terrible  serpents,  strong, 

1  See  Burton's  "  Anatomy  of  Melancholy,"  part  ii.  sect.  i. 

2  Upham,  "  History  of  Buddhism/'  pp.  56,  57. 


214  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

venom-threatening,  with  fiery  eyes  and  throats,  and  tongues 
of  forked  lightning."  l 

Here  is  another  passage — 

"  Here  dwell  two  serpents,  the  terror  of  enemies,  Arvouda 
and  S'akravapi.  Here  are  the  sublime  palaces  of  Swastika 
and  Maninaga  (jewel  snake)/'2 

Bentley3  puts  forward  a  plausible  explanation  of  it,  and 
that  is  that  it  was  "  feigned  that  a  dragon  was  cut  in  two 
by  the  ecliptic,"  and  that  Rahu  was  the  ascending  node,  and 
Ketu  the  descending  node.  This  would  give  the  two  ser 
pents  the  positive  and  negative  principles. 

In  India,  when  the  fish  are  used,  they  always  cross  each 
other.  In  Japan,  the  constellation  that  has  this  sign  )(  (our 
symbol  for  the  fish),  is  called  Tsing  (beams  in  the  form  of 
a  cross).4  It  is  oddly  enough,  the  only  cross  in  the  cata 
combs,  and  it  was  the  only  symbol  on  the  drapery  on  the 
high  altar  in  the  first  Japanese  temple  at  Knightsbridge. 
It  is  the  sole  symbol  that  figures  in  the  text  of  Asoka's 
inscriptions.  It  is  called  the  "  Seal  of  the  Heart  of 
Buddha." 

This  gives  a  new  meaning  to  such  words  as  "  Take  up 
thy  cross,"  pronounced  before  Christ's  hearers  knew  any 
thing  about  the  crucifixion.  It  is  the  symbol  of  the  four 
stages  of  the  soul's  progress. 

In  the   catacombs,  the   fish    likewise    make  the   form  of 
a  cross.    The  early  Christians  were  called  "  The         ~^     - 
Fish,"  and  the  Christ  monogram  seems  to  have  «= 

been  built  up  gradually  from  the  symbol  which 
was  the  "seal,"  alike  of  Christ  and  Buddha 
(Rev.  vii.  3). 


X 


Fig.  i 8. 


1  Mahab.  Adi  Parva,  v.  1500,  1501. 

2  Ibid.,  Sabha  Parva,  p.  806. 

3  "  Hindu  Astronomy,"  p.  24.     "  Flammarion,"  p.  156. 

4  Balfour,  "  Indian  Cyclopaedia." 


RITUAL.  2 1  5 

All  these  crosses  are  early  forms.     I  take  them  from  Smith's 
"  Christian  Antiquities."     To  the  two  serpents 
symbolizing  the  great  Father  and  Mother,  the 
jod    or   rod  of  Christ   was    added,  the   whole 
making    the    Alexandrine    "  I  A  w "    Oddly 
enough,  the    Swastika   cross,  the    Indian   fish, 
has  dominated  the  year  all  through  the  epoch 
of  Buddhism  and  Christianity.    A.D.  2000,  it  will  be  succeeded 
by  the  Man  with  the  Vase  of  Ichor. 

BUDDHA'S  MOVEMENT. 

We  shall  perhaps  make  matters  more  intelligible  if  we  take 
up  the  story  of  Buddha's  movement  from  the  date  of  his  death. 
The  creed,  as  I  have  shown,  struggled  on  in  obscurity  and 
probably  in  secrecy  until  the  advent  of  a  powerful  monarch 
250  B.C.  King  Asoka  ruled  India — on  this  point  we  have  the 
evidence  of  his  inscriptions  and  incised  stones — from  Peshawur 
to  Cape  Comorin,  and  from  Girnar  in  the  Gulf  of  Cutch  on 
the  east  coast  of  Hindustan  to  Ganjam  on  the  west  coast. 
When  he  made  Buddhism  the  official  creed  of  India  he  was 
met  with  a  difficulty.  The  teaching  of  Buddha  was  simply 
the  awakening  of  the  spiritual  life  of  the  individual. 

"  Who  speaks  and  acts  with  the  inner  quickening  has  joy 
for  his  shadow  !  "  This  was  his  motto. 

For  the  vulgar  something  more  was  required  ;  and  the  king 
was  obliged  to  graft  on  to  it  some  of  the  outside  worship  of 
Brahminism,  for  the  people  required  some  cultus  that  they 
could  venerate  and  understand.  That  cultus  consisted  in  a 
sort  of  saint-worship.  The  dead  rishi  or  saint  of  the  past 
had  his  ashes  casketed  in  a  little  stone  chamber  in  the  centre 
of  a  huge  mound  like  Avebury,  or  the  Maes  Howe  in  Orkney. 
Round  this,  tanks  and  groves  and  tall  columns  were  erected, 
to  which  pilgrims  resorted  in  shoals  to  see  the  ashes  of  the 
saint  coruscate  with  magic  light,  and  to  be  healed  of  bodily 
and  spiritual  infirmities.  India  had  an  arch  Brahmin,  the 
high  priest  of  the  creed,  and  Asoka  changed  him  into  a 
Buddhist  monk,  called  in  the  Mahawanso  the  "  high  priest  of 


2l6  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

all  the  world."  In  process  of  time  this  pontiff  dwelt  in  the 
great  monastery  of  Nalanda,  not  far  from  Buddha  Gaya.  He 
was  the  Acharya  of  Buddhism,  the  "  teacher  "  par  excellence. 
Hwen  Thsang  has  left  us  a  description  of  his  pomp,  and  the 
splendour  of  his  great  monastery  on  the  hills,  the  tanks,  the 
gardens,  the  jade  and  the  gold.  He  describes  the  architecture 
as  like  that  of  the  Chinese  ;  red  pillars  and  roofs  that  scale  the 
sky.  Ten  thousand  monks  were  dwelling  in  the  court  of  the 
great  Acharya. 

These  days  of  the  ascendancy  of  early  Buddhism  continued 
until  A.D.  10,  when  another  great  Indian  emperor  arose  who 
defiled  Buddhism  with  the  teachings  of  a  bad  school  of  Brah- 
minism,  the  religion  of  the  followers  of  Siva. 

This  brings  us  to  the  two  great  schools  of  Buddhism— 

1.  The  earliest   school,  the   Buddhism  of  Buddha,  taught 
that  after  Nirvana,  or  man's  emancipation  from  re-births,  the 
consciousness   of  the  individual  survived,  and  that  he  dwelt 
for  ever  in  happiness  in  the  Brahma  heavens. 

2.  The  second,  or  innovating  school,  taught  that  after  Nir 
vana  the  consciousness  of  the  individual  ceased.     The  god  of 
the  first  school  was  Buddha,  which  can  have  no  other  meaning 
than  "intelligent."     The  god  of  the   innovating  school   was 
Sunya  (unintelligent  causation). 

Some  readers  will  judge  that  this  statement  differs  con 
siderably  from  the  teaching  of  St.  Hilaire,  Oldenberg,  and 
Rhys  Davids.  In  point  of  fact,  when  I  first  brought  it  forward 
in  my  "  Popular  Life  of  Buddha,"  l  one  or  two  critics,  notably 
one  in  the  Athenaum,  found  fault  with  me  for  venturing 
to  differ  with  so  great  a  Pali  scholar  as  Professor  Rhys 
Davids  ;  the  critic  himself  having  unconsciously  ventured  to 
differ  quite  as  widely.  He  was  plainly  under  the  impression 
that  without  a  vast  and  accurate  knowledge  of  Pali  roots  no 
decision  could  be  come  to  in  Buddhist  eschatology.  In  point 
of  fact  the  question  is  a  piece  of  history  as  pure  and  easy  of 
solution  as  the  question  whether  the  religion  of  Leo  X. 
preceded  or  followed  that  of  Luther.  In  the  seventh  century, 
A.D.,  a  Chinese  monk  named  Hwen  Thsang  visited  India, 

^ !  Vol.  i.  pp.  150,  151. 


RITUAL.  217 

and  he  was  appointed  president  of  a  great  convocation 
expressly  summoned  by  King  Siladitya,  to  put  down  the 
Buddhism  of  the  Little  Vehicle  altogether.  No  better  wit 
ness  can  be  conceived.  He  has  recorded  the  following 
facts  :— 

1.  The  council  of  King  Kaniska  (summoned  about  A.D.  10) 
was  the  first  occasion  on  which  the  innovating  Buddhism  of 
the  Great  Vehicle  was  introduced.1 

2.  This  was  done  in  spite  of  such  strong  opposition  on 
the  point  of  the  Acharya  of  the  great  monastery  of  Nalanda 
(the  high  priest  of  Buddhism),  that  the  king  was  afraid   to 
hold  his  convocation  in  the  Buddhist  Holy  Land  as  he  had  at 
first  intended.2 

3.  That  the  official  representatives  of  genuine  Buddhism 
at  Nalanda  asserted  in  the  most  positive  terms  that  the  in 
novating  Buddhism  did   not  come  from   Buddha  at  all,  but 
from  a  sect  of  the  followers  of  the  Brahman  god  Siva  (the 
Kapalikas).3 

4.  On  the  nature  of  the  innovating  teachers  the  Chinese 
traveller  is  equally  explicit.     They  were   what  is   called   in 
India  Sunyavadis. 

As  early  as  the  Brahmin  Gautama,  who  compiled  a  code 
of  laws  centuries  before  the  Code  of  Manu,  these  philosophers 
existed.  This  is  what  he  says  of  them — 

"  The  Sunyavadis  affirm  that  from  nonentity  all  things 
arose,  for  that  everything  sprung  to  birth  from  a  state  in 
which  it  did  not  previously  exist :  that  entity  absolutely  im 
plies  nonentity,  and  that  there  must  be  some  power  in  non 
entity  from  which  entity  can  spring.  The  sprout  does  not  arise 
from  a  sprout,  but  in  the  absence  or  non-existence  of  a  sprout. 
.  .  .  The  Sunyavadi  admits  the  necessity  of  using  the  terms 
"  maker,"  etc.,  but  maintains  that  they  are  mere  words  of 
course,  and  are  often  used  when  the  things  spoken  of  are  in 
a  state  of  non-existence,  as  when  men  say,  *  A  son  will  be 
born.'  "  4 

1  Hwen  Thsang,  "  M ^moires,"  vol.  i.  p.  173,  et  seq. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  174.  3  Ibid.,  p.  220. 

4  Sutras  of  Gautama,  cited  by  Ward,  "  The  Hindoos"  vol.  i.  p.  420. 


2l8  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

In  an  Indian  drama  called  the  "  Prabodha  Chandra  Udaya," 
there  is  a  sketch  of  one  of  these  atheistic  priests  of  Siva.  In 
a  dispute  with  a  Buddhist  he  is  made  to  say— 

"  With  goodly  necklace  decked  of  bones  of  men, 
Haunting  the  tombs,  from  cups  of  human  skulls 
Eating  and  quaffing,  ever  I  behold, 
With  eyes  that  meditation's  salve  hath  cleared, 
The  world  of  diverse  jarring  elements 
Composed,  but  still  all  one  with  the  Supreme. 

"  The  Buddhist.  This  man  professes  the  rule  of  a  Kapalika.  I  will  ask 
him  what  it  is  (going  to  him\  O  ho,  you  with  the  bone  and  skull  neck 
lace  !  what  are  your  hopes  of  happiness  and  salvation  ? 

"  The  Adept.  Wretch  of  a  Buddhist !  Well,  hear  what  is  our  religion  :— 

With  flesh  of  men,  with  brain  and  fat  well  smeared. 
We  make  our  grim  burnt  offering — break  our  fast 
From  cups  of  holy  Brahmin's  skull,  and  ever 
With  gurgling  drops  of  blood  that  plenteous  stream 
From  hard  throats  quickly  cut  ;  by  us  is  worshipped 
With  human  offerings  meet  the  dread  Bhairava. 
******* 

I  call  at  will  the  best  of  gods,  great  Hari, 

And  Hara's  self  and  Brahma.     I  restrain 

With  my  sole  voice  the  course  of  stars  that  wander 

In  heaven's  bright  vault  ;  the  earth,  with  all  its  load 

Of  mountains,  fields,  and  cities,  I  at  will 

Reduce  once  more  to  water  ;  and,  behold, 

I  drink  it  up  !  " l 

The  mock  Mahatmas  that  the  notorious  Madame  Blavatsky 
professed  to  be  in  communication  with  were  credited  with 
similar  pretensions.  They  affirmed  that  there  was  no  God, 
and  that  the  divine  powers  usually  credited  to  him  were  in 
their  hands.  Has  she  not  helped  us  to  the  secret  of  the 
atheism  of  the  Kapalika  ?  Greed  steps  forward  to  secure  the 
homage  and  the  oblations  that  man's  nature  pays  to  God. 

The  main  position  of  writers  like  Dr.  Oldenberg  is  that 
the  atheistic  literature  of  Ceylon  represents  the  earliest 
Buddhism,  the  Buddhism  of  the  Little  Vehicle.  Hwen 
Thsang  contradicts  this  in  toto. 

"  In  Ceylon,"  he  says,  "  are  about  ten  thousand  monks  who 

1  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Sac.,  vol.  vi.  p.  15. 


RITUAL.  219 

follow  the  doctrines  of  the  Great  Vehicle." 1  He  says,  more 
over,  the  controversy  raged  fiercely  for  a  long  time  before  the 
Great  Vehicle  was  successful  over  the  Little  Vehicle.  He 
tells  as  that  one  of  the  chief  apostles  of  the  Great  Vehicle  was 
Deva  Bodhisatwa,  a  Cingalese  monk.2  At  Kanchipura  the 
Chinese  pilgrim  came  across  three  hundred  monks  that  had 
just  fled  across  the  water  from  Ceylon,  to  escape  the  anarchy 
and  famine  consequent  on  the  death  of  the  king  there.3  Hwen 
Thsang  was  a  sort  of  Lord  High  Inquisitor  at  the  Convoca 
tion  of  Kanouj,  that  suppressed  the  Little  Vehicle  a  short 
time  afterwards.  If  a  vessel  containing  three  hundred  mixed 
Christians  from  the  Low  Countries  had  been  wrecked  on  the 
coast  of  Spain  in  the  reign  of  Philip  II.,  we  may  fairly  pre 
sume  that  any  of  them  released  after  due  inquiry  by  the  Holy 
Office  might  be  considered  Catholic,  and  not  Protestant. 

Although  more  wild  theories  are  abroad  concerning 
Buddhism  than  any  other  old  creed,  it  has  oddly  enough  the 
most  trustworthy  archives  of  all.  Within  two  hundred  and 
fifty  years  of  the  death  of  the  founder,  Asoka  carved  his  credo 
on  the  rocks — 

"Confess  and  believe  in  God,  who  is  the  worthy  object  of 
obedience.  For  equal  to  this  belief  I  declare  unto  you  ye 
shall  not  find  such  a  means  of  propitiating  Heaven  " — First 
Dhauli  Edict  (Prinsep). 

"  Among  whomsoever  the  name  of  God  resteth,  this  verily 
is  religion  " — Edict,  No.  VII.  (Prinsep). 

"  I  have  appointed  religious  observances  that  mankind 
having  listened  thereto  shall  be  brought  to  follow  in  the  right 
path,  and  give  glory  to  God  " — (Ibid.). 

No  cavilling  can  explain  away  the  word  Isana.  To  the 
Brahmin  of  Asoka's  time  it  meant  the  Supreme.  And  on 
the  subject  of  eternal  life  of  the  individual  the  king  is  equally 
explicit. 

"  I  pray  with  every  variety  of  prayer  for  those  who  differ 
with  me  in  creed,  that  they,  following  after  my  example,  may 

1  Hwen  Thsang,  "  Histoire,"  p.  192. 

2  "Mdmoires,"  vol.  i.  pp.  218,  277. 

3  Hwen  Thsang,  "  Histoire,"  p.  192. 


220  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

with   me  attain  unto  eternal  salvation  " — Delhi  Pillar,  Edict 
VI.  (Prinsep). 

"  May  they,  my  loving  subjects,  obtain  happiness  in  this 
world  and  in  the  next " — (Burnouf.) 

I  have  gone  fully  into  this  question  in  my  "  Popular  Life 
of  Buddha,"  1  but  I  have  come  across  a  fresh  piece  of  evidence. 
The  whole  question  of  the  nature  of  early  Buddhism  is  quite 
set  at  rest  by  a  work  called  the  "  Satasahasrika "  (the 
Hundred  Thousand  Verses)  also  the  "  Raksha  Bhagavati." 
It  is  in  the  collection  of  Nepalese  scriptures  ;  and  an  abstract 
of  it  has  been  given  to  us  by  the  invaluable  scholar,  Doctor 
Rajendra  Lala  Mitra.  "It  is  pre-eminently,"  says  the 
Doctor,  "  a  work  of  the  Mahay  ana  class,  and  its  main  topic 
is  the  doctrine  of  Sunyavada,  or  the  evolution  of  the  universe 
from  vacuity  or  nihility."  2 

The  work  is  alleged  to  have  been  delivered  by  Buddha  in 
person  on  the  hill  Gridhakuta  (Vulture's  Peak).  It  was 
attested  by  many  miracles,  lambent  flames,  in  which  were  seen 
many  gold  lotuses  and  other  portents. 

The  disciples  of  the  earlier  Buddhism,  the  "  Little  Vehicle  " 
(Hinayana),  are  specially  attacked  in  this  treatise,  and  "  refuted 
repeatedly,"  says  the  Doctor.  "  The  terminology,"  says  the 
same  authority,  "  is  borrowed  from  the  Hindu  philosophy." 
This  quite  confirms  what  the  earlier  Buddhists  said  of  the 
innovating  Buddhism,  according  to  the  testimony  of  Hwen 
Thsang,  that  it  was  borrowed  from  the  Sunyavadis  of 
Brahminism. 

The  Buddhists  of  the  Little  Vehicle,  according  to  the 
same  authority,  composed  a  neat  sarcasm  upon  their 
opponents,  who  had  somewhat  arrogantly  called  themselves 
the  Buddhists  of  the  "Great  Vehicle."  They  called  this 
vehicle,  Sunya  Pushpa  (the  vehicle  that  drives  to  nowhere).3 

This  lets  in  a  flood  of  light  on  the  perplexities  and  con 
tradictions  of  modern  Buddhism.  Plump  in  the  way  of  the 
reckless  charioteers  of  Sunya  Pushpa  were  two  formidable 

1  Page  275,  et  seg.          2  "  Napalese  Buddhist  Literature,"  p.  178. 
3  Hwen  Thsang,  "  Memoires,"  p.  220.      See  also  "  Popular  Life  of 
Buddha,"  chap.  xi.  p.  171. 


PLATE  XIV. 


p\^/\/\yA^xAi/\rxr\/\xv^ 
Nirvanapura.  i  i  Your  Heavens. 


Formless  Spirits—  Eight  Heavens. 


Brahmaloka  —  Three 

Heavens. 

Tusita. 
Devaloka  —  Six  Heavens. 

r 

/" 

* 

/ 

THE    HEAVENS    AS    CONCEIVED    BY    THE    BUDDHISTS   OF    CEYLON. 

[Page  221. 


RITUAL.  221 

obstacles.  The  temples  of  Buddhism,  whether  carved  in  fine 
Indian  woodwork,  as  at  the  date  of  Hwen  Thsang,  or  built  of 
solid  masonry  like  the  old  tope  whose  outline  I  here  give 
(Plate  XIV.),  represented  the  heavens  to  which  the  Buddhas 
and  Jinas  repaired  after  attaining  emancipation  from  re-births. 
Secondly,  on  entering  the  temple,  the  spectator  was  confronted 
with  a  colossal  figure  of  Sakya  Muni  in  the  centre  of  the  high 
altar,  and  by  this  were  smaller  Buddhas  that  had  got  to  mean 
his  Great  Disciples.  These  were  fed  every  day  with  oblations  ; 
and  Buddha  was  prayed  to  for  spiritual  and  temporal  blessings, 
and  asked  to  forgive  the  sins  of  his  humble  votaries.  How 
did  the  travestied  followers  of  Siva,  the  Sunyavadis,  get  over 
all  this  ?  They  tried  to  substitute  the  Buddha  and  the  saints 
of  the  future  for  the  Buddha  and  the  saints  of  the  past.  The 
eternal  heavens  got  to  be  tenanted  by  saints  about  to  be  born 
on  earth  for  the  last  time,  although  the  life  of  Buddha  had 
taught  everybody  that  Tusita,  the  sixth  heaven  of  the 
Devaloka,  was  the  highest  region  that  these  saints  could  reach. 
And  on  the  altar  they  tried  to  set  up  the  Great  Buddha  of  the 
Future,  Maitreya.  He  was  to  be  asked  to  forgive  sins, 
although  he  had  yet  to  receive  pap  from  his  nurse.  He  was 
to  be  prayed  to  for  spiritual  light,  although  he  had  yet  to  learn 
his  catechism.  The  fancy  seems  at  first  the  dream  of  a 
madman,  but  a  moment's  reflection  shows  that  it  was  the  best 
of  many  bad  roads.  Also  the  plan  has  been  most  brilliantly 
successful.  The  Sunyavadis  defiled  all  the  Buddhist  scriptures, 
and  deceived  millions  upon  millions  of  Buddhists  in  many 
lands.  They  have  also  hoodwinked  our  Pali  professors,  and 
through  Schopenhauer,  Parsvika,  the  leading  teacher,  is  be 
coming  the  instructor  of  all  Europe.  In  the  matter  of  the 
Buddhist  temple  and  its  rites  the  new  school  were  only  partially 
successful.  Buddha  and  his  great  disciples  still  figure  on  the 
altar,  even  in  Ceylon,  the  hotbed  of  the  innovating  school  of 
Buddhism  that  dethroned  God  and  demolished  heaven.  But 
he  is  worshipped  as  a  non-God.  Flowers  are  flung  daily  to 
this  non-God.  Morning  and  evening  meals  are  proffered 
to  him.  Daily  the  non-God  is  asked  to  forgive  sins.  We 
need  not  pursue  these  absurdities  any  further. 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Unfortunately,  too,  the  marriage  of  Church  and  State,  as 
in  Christendom  later  on,  killed  the  life  of  the  movement.  It 
seems  a  law  that  all  great  spiritual  movements  shall  promptly 
crystallize  into  formalism. 

The  starving  and  naked  wanderer,  with  no  thought  save  of 
heaven,  was  a  mighty  force  for  changing  the  creeds  of  the 
world.  Christ  likened  His  followers  to  a  leaven  with  which 
He  proposed  to  leaven  the  mass  of  humanity.  But  when 
victory  is  in  sight,  and  in  place  of  martyrdom  the  mystic  is 
rewarded  with  prosperity  and  praise,  then  greed  and  self- 
interest  are  attracted  to  his  ranks  ;  and  the  hungry  Therapeuts 
become  a  fat  abbey  of  lazy  priests.  To  Asoka  and  to  Con- 
stantine  the  same  problem  presented  itself.  Given  an  army 
of  idle  ascetics,  how  are  they  to  be  lodged  and  fed  ? 

The  answer,  unfortunately,  was  the  same  in  both  cases. 
From  the  terrors  and  greed  of  the  ignorant  laity.  And  the 
processes  by  which  these  were  stimulated — relics,  pilgrimages, 
indulgences,  dispensations,  saint  intercessions,  the  burning 
of  candles  to  obtain  supernal  aid,  the  fears  of  purgatory,  and 
the  promised  joys  of  a  material  heaven — are  too  like  in  both 
creeds  to  be  the  result  of  mere  chance. 

The  Buddhist  had  taken  over  from  the  Brahman  the 
doctrine  of  Karma  and  the  metempsychosis.  This  is  without 
doubt  a  priestly  invention.  It  was  proclaimed  that  the 
Buddhist  Sramana,  having  become  as  nearly  as  possible  one 
with  the  divine  Ruler  of  the  Sky,  had  necessarily  considerable 
influence  both  in  this  world  and  in  the  next.  Karma,  or  the 
causation  of  deeds  done  in  the  body,  carries  a  soul  after 
death  to  regions  of  joy  or  pain,  according  to  its  merits.  The 
lustful  man  may  become  a  goat,  the  cruel  man  a  tiger  or  a 
jackal.  But  if  there  is  a  Karma  powerful  for  evil,  there  is 
also  a  Karma  most  potent  in  the  opposite  direction,  and  that 
is  the  Karma  that  results  from  a  pure  life  and  from  ascetic 
practices.  This  is  the  mystical  force  that  the  priest  of 
Buddha  is  able  to  set  in  motion.  My  avaricious  father  is  a 
jackal.  My  daughter  is  in  the  hell  Avichi.  She  is  being 
gnawed  by  the  lovers  she  deceived,  who  now  assume  the  form 
of  dogs.  But  the  priests  of  Buddha  can  nullify  these  evil 


RITUAL.  223 

results.  One  hundred  prayers  before  this  statue,  will  release 
your  father.  It  represents  Sariputra,  the  beloved  disciple  of 
Buddha.  The  saints  of  the  past  remain  for  ever  on  the  right 
hand  and  on  the  left  hand  of  the  King  of  Heaven.  They 
have  power  to  perpetually  intercede.  Build  a  temple.  Feed 
fifty  priests  daily.  These  offerings  to  us  are  in  reality  offer 
ings  to  Tathagata.  For  your  evil  deeds  you  will  be  born 
slaves,  women,  rats,  and  partridges  ;  but  we  have  the  power 
to  convert  you  into  rich  merchants  and  princes  shining  with 
emeralds.1 

INDULGENCES.    DISPENSATIONS. 

Father  Froe's,  who  visited  Japan  in  1574,  announces  that 
dispensations  and  indulgences,  "  much  after  the  usages  of  the 
Catholic  Church,"  were  sold  by  the  Buddhist  monks  there. 
The  efficacy  of  pilgrimages  was  much  insisted  on  ;  and  one 
old  lady  had  made  so  many  of  the  latter,  and  bought  so  many 
indulgences,  that  she  was  able  to  make  up  a  dress  of  them. 
The  monks  told  her  that  if  she  were  buried  in  this  precious 
paper  suit,  she  would  go  direct  to  Amitabha,  the  supreme 
Buddha,  and  live  for  ever  with  the  saints.2  The  Jesuit  Father 
d'Entrecolles  bears  similar  testimony.  He  describes  a  nun 
in  China,  "  a  devotee  of  Buddha  much  given  to  prayer  (a 
longues  prieres).  She  was  inscribed  in  the  muster-roll  of  a 
famous  temple,  to  which  pilgrims  came  from  great  distances. 
These  pilgrims,  on  reaching  the  foot  of  the  mountain,  kneel 
and  prostrate  themselves  at  every  step  during  the  ascent. 
Those  who  cannot  make  the  pilgrimages,  get  their  friends  to 
buy  for  them  a  sheet  of  paper  printed  and  marked  all  over  by 
the  Buddhist  priests.  In  the  centre  is  a  figure  of  Buddha, 
surrounded  by  many  small  circles.  The  devotees,  male  and 
female,  pronounce  one  thousand  times  this  prayer,  Namo- 
Omito-Fo  (Praise  be  to  Amitabha  Buddha ! )  which  they  have 
received  from  India,  and  which  they  do  not  understand. 
They  then  kneel  one  hundred  times.  They  are  then  allowed 
to  mark  one  of  the  many  small  circles  with  a  red  mark.  The 

1  Consult  Picart,  vol.  vii.  pp.  145,  149,  216,  226,  232. 

2  Froes  "  Epist.  Japonican,"  lib.  iv. 


224  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Buddhist  priests  are  invited  to  come  and  authenticate  these 
red  marks,  after  uttering  certain  prayers.  The  paper,  sealed 
carefully  up  by  the  priests,  is  called  Lou-in,  and  is  carried 
after  death  in  a  casket,  during  the  funeral  rites.  It  costs 
many  tae'ls,  but  it  is  a  certain  passport  to  the  next  world." l 

CONFESSION. 

Confession  in  the  early  Church  was  public,  as  in  Buddhism. 
The  dangerous  innovation  of  auricular  confession  was  due  to 
Leo  the  First.2 

FOOTPRINTS. 

The  footprints  of  Christ  are  shown  in  Palestine,  and  the 
footprints  of  Buddha  in  India.  The  traces  of  the  feet  of  the 
former  at  the  spot  of  the  Ascension  were  long  famous.3 

THE  COWL. 

The  cowl  is  common  to  the  monks  of  Buddhism  and 
Christendom.  Gibbon,  in  his  thirty-seventh  chapter,  says  of 
the  latter,  "  They  wrapped  their  heads  in  a  cowl  to  escape  the 
sight  of  profane  objects." 

PRESENTATION  OF  CANDLES  TO  THE  IMAGES  OF 
BUDDHA. 

Picart,  in  his  account  of  the  Buddhism  of  Siam,  drawn 
chiefly  from  the  Fathers  La  Loubere  and  Tachard,  announces 
that  the  laity  there  make  offerings  of  candles  to  the  idols  of 
Buddha.  All  offerings  must  be  made  through  the  instrumen 
tality  of  the  talapoins,  or  monks.4 

PRAYER  AS  A  CHARM  RATHER  THAN  A  PLEADING. 

In  the  Buddhist  and  Christian  rituals  are  many  beautiful 
prayers.  But  it  is  plain  that  a  repetition  many  hundreds  of 
times  of  a  mantra  or  paternoster  on  a  rosary  is  not  purely 

1  "  Lettres  Edifiantes,"  xiii. 

2  Rev.  G.  Waddington,  "  History  of  the  Church,"  chap.  ix.  p.  126. 

3  "Jortin,"  vol.  iii.  pp.  87,  88. 

4  Vol.  vii.  p.  65.     See  also  p.  140. 


RITUAL. 


225 


praying.  It  seems  to  me  unmeaning  without  the  Buddhist 
doctrine  of  Karma  to  explain  it,  namely,  that  by  it  a  stored- 
up  merit  or  magic  is  accumulated.  And  this  seems  practically 
the  Catholic  conception  as  well  as  the  Buddhist. 

FUNERALS. 

The  Buddhist  funeral  is  partly  the  merry-making  of  an 
Irish  wake,  partly  the  solemn  ceremonials  of  Catholic  Europe. 
Comedians  are  hired  whose  farces  have  no  reference  to  death. 
Fireworks  sputter,  and  food  is  lavished  on  all.  But  Catholic 
missionaries  have  been  struck  on  these  occasions  with  the 
close  similarity  of  the  Buddhist  and  the  Catholic  rites.  A 
chapelle  ardente  is  erected;  and  candles  burn  incessantly 
before  it,  and  incense  smokes.  Each  night  a  choir  of  tala- 
poins  comes  into  the  mortuary  chamber  and  chants  in  Pali 
the  sacred  hymns,  much  after  the  fashion  of  Italy  and  Spain.1 

THE  EPOCH  OF  BUDDHA. 

The  Buddhist  chronology  dates  from  the  epoch  of  Buddha, 
as  the  Christian  from  the  epoch  of  Christ.  The  Nirvana 
commences  the  Buddhist  epoch. 

FESTIVALS. 

The  earliest  Christian  festivals  were  simply  the  Jewish 
ones.2  The  Feast  of  the  Nativity  was  not  celebrated  until 
the  fourth  century,"  says  Riddle.3  The 
three  great  Jewish  festivals — the  sowing, 
reaping,  and  Pentecost— were  the  same 
as  the  Buddhist.  Of  course,  the  Pass 
over  or  Easter  originally  began  the  year. 
On  "the  fourteenth  day  of  the  first 
month  "  (Numb.  ix.  5)  it  was  celebrated. 
Many  of  the  Easter  rites  still  exhibit 
this  derivation,  witness  the  taper-light 
ing,  a  symbol  of  the  birth  of  the  new  sun-god.  The  Easter 

1  See  La  Loube're,  "Description,"  etc.  vol.  i.  p.  371. 

2  Riddle,  "  Christian  Antiquities,"  p.  607.  3  Ibid.,  p.  618. 

Q 


226  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

eggs   were     unintelligible  to    me    until    I    came    across    the 
Buddhist  mystical  egg. 

The  legend  is  that  at  the  beginning  of  each  dispensation 
or  mystical  year,  the  angel  with  the  diamond  spear  strikes  this 
egg,  left  like  Brahma's  egg  behind  by  the  dead  race,  and  at 
once  the  yolk  and  the  white  divide  as  exhibited.  One  part 
represents  the  unrevealed  Buddha,  the  other  the  conceivable 
Buddha,  the  eternal  dualism  of  all  mystics. 

COUNCILS. 

More  important  are  the  ecumenical  councils  introduced 
into  the  early  Christian  Church  to  suppress  heresy.  Where 
did  they  come  from  ?  Such  an  idea  is  foreign  to  the  genius 
alike  of  the  dominant  Roman  and  Jewish  religions.  Both 
were  religions  of  outside  ceremonial,  and  as  long  as  this  was 
complied  with,  their  priests  were  satisfied.  They  did  not 
pursue  their  scrutiny  into  the  recesses  of  the  worshipper's 
brain  to  see  if  his  metaphysics  kept  proper  pace  with  orthodox 
changes  and  fashions.  In  the  records  of  Buddhism  five 
principal  ecumenical  councils  are  noticed.  The  first  took 
place  at  Rajagriha,  three  months  after  Buddha's  death.  The 
second,  a  rather  mythical  convocation,  is  said  to  have  taken 
place  at  Vaisali,  one  hundred  years  after  the  first.  The  third 
was  summoned  by  King  Asoka.  The  fourth  took  place,  as 
I  have  mentioned,  under  the  patronage  of  King  Kaniska 
(A.D.  10),  and  introduced  the  doctrine  that  man,  after  his 
emancipation  from  re-birth,  becomes  unconscious.  The  fifth, 
under  King  Siladitya,  tried  to  suppress  early  Buddhism  alto 
gether.  These  two  last  convocations  established  the  pernicious 
originality  that  a  creed  is  more  commodiously  turned  topsy 
turvy  from  within  than  from  without.  Men  are  the  slaves 
less  of  ideas  than  words,  especially  such  words  as  "  ortho 
doxy"  and  "heresy.  Irenaeus  and  Pope  Victor  profited  by 
this  lesson.  A  heretic  in  Christianity,  as  in  Buddhism,  got  to 
mean  a  man  born  two  or  three  hundred  years  too  soon  to 
adopt  orthodox  innovations. 


RITUAL. 


227 


HIERARCHY. 

We  have  seen  that  more  than  one  Catholic  writer  has 
drawn  attention  to  the  similarity  between  the  Buddhist  and 
Christian  hierarchy.  Bishop  Bigandet  has  pointed  out  that 
in  independent  Buddhist  countries  like  Burmah,  there  is  a 
Superior-General,  and  under  him  Provincials.  Then  come  the 
abbots,  or  heads  of  monasteries,  and  so  on,  "a  distinct 
hierarchy,  well  marked  with  constitutions  and  rules."  l 

THE  POPE. 

Father  Grueber,  on  visiting  Lha  Sa,  the  capital  of  Tibet, 
A.D.  1 66 1,  was  very  much  shocked  to  find  that  the  devil  had 
struck  at  Christianity  in  its  most  vital  part.  He  had  invented 
a  mock  potentate,  to  whom  were  offered  honours  that  are  due 
alone  to  the  vicar  of  Christ.2  The  faithful  were  required  to 
fall  flat  before  the  grand  lama  of  Tibet,  to  knock  their  heads 
upon  the  ground,  and  to  crawl  forward  and  kiss  his  feet.3 
Like  the  pope,  he  was  the  acknowledged  head  of  the  Buddhist 
Church  all  over  the  world. 

We  have  seen  that  at  the  great  monastery  of  Nalanda, 
when  Hwen  Thsang  visited  it,  there  was  a  sovereign  pontiff  of 
Buddhism.  That  monastery  was  destroyed  by  the  Brahmins 
in  the  eighth  century,  and  the  Buddhists  were  driven  out  of 
India.  The  grand  lama  is,  as  it  seems  to  me,  this  great 
pontiff,  driven  to  take  refuge  amongst  the  mountains  of  Tibet. 
China  and  Japan  and  Tibet  acknowledge  him  as  the  head  of 
Buddhism  ;  and  the  other  day,  when  Lord  Dufferin  was 
reluctant  to  nominate  the  Tsaia-dau  or  "archbishop"  of 
Burmah,  China  threatened  to  put  in  her  right.  The  Pontiff 
of  Nalanda  was  so  sacred,  that  none  dare  pronounce  his  name. 
He  was  called  the  Acharya,  and  the  pontiff  in  Tibet  has  a 
similar  name,  the  "  Master  of  Doctrine."4  Mons.  de  Remusat 
tells  us  that  in  a  Japanese  encyclopaedia  it  is  announced  that 
Buddha,  from  the  earliest  days,  was  accustomed  to  come 

1  "  Vie  de  Gaudama,"  p.  477. 

2  See  "  Histoire  des  Voyages,"  vol.  ix.  p.  130.  s  Ibid_ 
4  De  Remusat,  "Origine  de  1'Hierarchie  Lamaique,"  p.  27. 


228  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

back  to  earth  as  a  "  teacher  of  kings." l  This  is  confirmed 
by  Mr.  Rockhill's  "Life  of  the  Buddha,"  where  Ananda, 
Buddha's  favourite  disciple,  and  Upagupta,  had  the  title  of 
"  Buddha "  given  to  them,2  when  each  became  in  succession 
the  head  of  the  Church.  Also,  when  Hwen  Thsang  visited 
the  Acharya  at  Nalanda,  he  was  obliged  to  perform  the  same 
prostrations,  crawlings,  head  knockings  against  the  ground, 
etc.,  that  shocked  Father  Grueber  in  Tibet3 

And  when  we  come  to  consider  the  method  by  which  a 
grand  lama  and  a  pope  is  each  elected,  the  points  of  simi 
larity  increase.  When  the  grand  lama  dies,  all  the  faithful 
devote  themselves  to  prayer  and  meditation.  Prayer  barrels 
revolve,  and  search  is  made  for  the  infant  in  whom  the  soul  of 
Buddha  is  once  more  to  be  born.  The  list  of  candidates  is 
finally  narrowed  to  three.  Then,  as  we  learn  from  the  Abbe 
Hue,  the  whole  body  of  cardinals  (chutuktus)  is  assembled. 
They  are  shut  up  in  a  temple  of  Buddha-La,  and  pass  six 
days  in  retreat,  in  prayer,  in  fasting.  The  seventh  day,  the 
names  of  the  three  candidates  are  written  on  gold  plates  and 
placed  in  an  urn.  The  senior  chutuktu  draws  the  lot,  and 
the  child  whose  name  is  drawn  is  immediately  proclaimed 
Delai  Lama,  and  carried  in  state  through  the  town.4 

All  this  reminds  one  of  the  election  of  a  pope,  on  which 
occasion  cardinals  of  the  Church  erect  a  little  lath  and  plank 
monastery  in  the  splendid  Loggia  of  the  Vatican,  and 
masquerade  as  humble  Therapeut  monks  in  pink  satin.  Each 
humble  monk  has  two  servants,  one  civil,  one  religious.  They 
fetch  him  his  food,  like  the  Sramanero  of  a  Buddhist  convent. 
The  food  when  brought  is  inspected  by  certain  prelates  to  see 
that  the  ortolans  contain  no  missive  from  the  French  ambas 
sador,  and  that  Austria  has  not  sought  to  bias  the  election  by 
a  surreptitious  note  inserted  in  the  Johannisberger  or  Chateau 
Yquem.  Three  times  a  day  the  silken  monks  are  summoned 
to  the  Sistine  Chapel  to  pray  for  divine  guidance  in  their 
choice.  The  special  mass  on  these  occasions  is  called  the 

1  De  Remusat,  "  Origine  de  1'Hierarchie  Lamaique,"  pp.  24,  25. 

2  Ibid.,  pp.  164,  165.  3  Hwen  Thsang,  vol.  i.  p.  144. 
4  Hue,  "  Voyages,"  vol.  ii.  p.  244. 


RITUAL.  229 

"  Mass  of  the  Holy  Ghost."  The  special  costume  for  each 
cardinal  during  these  celebrations  is  a  cope  of  crimson  silk 
made  exactly  like  a  monk's  cloak.  Voting  papers  with  fan 
tastic  scrolls  are  given  to  each,  and  an  urn  is  sent  round  to 
any  cardinal  who  has  been  pronounced  too  sick  to  be  walled 
up  in  his  little  lath  and  plank  cell.  When  the  pope  is  elected, 
guns  roar  out  and  silver  trumpets  sound,  and  his  holiness 
passes  along  in  solemn  procession,  like  the  lama  in  his 
vimana,  with  umbrellas  and  smoking  incense  and  waving  fans 
He  is  placed  on  the  great  altar  of  St.  Peter's,  and  worshipped 
like  the  lama  of  Tibet1 

The  grand  lama  is  chosen  by  lot,  chance,  the  Holy  Spirit  ; 
the  pope  by  chicane.  Plainly  the  elaborate  apparatus  at  the 
Vatican  is  not  in  harmony  with  its  pitiful  work.  It  is  a  copy, 
reproduction,  the  histrionics  of  something  else.  What  ? 
Matthias  was  chosen  by  lot  by  the  Church  at  Jerusalem,  and 
John  the  Baptist,  Christ,  and  St.  James,  each  ruled  the  whole 
of  mystical  Israel,  the  Church  of  the  West.  If  Palestine  at 
the  date  of  Christ,  and  as  I  believe  for  one  hundred  and  fifty 
years  before  and  after,  was  in  close  communication  with  the 
Acharya  of  Nalanda,  this  and  the  thousand  other  points  of 
close  contact  between  Buddhism  and  Christianity  may  be 
accounted  for.  I  know  no  other  manner. 

1  Picart,  "  Cerem.,"  vol.  i.  p.  34. 


230  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

How  DID  BUDDHISM  REACH  THE  WEST? 

WE  now  come  to  the  question,  How  did  Buddhism  reach  the 
West  ?  And  here  Professor  Kellogg  is  triumphant.  He  cites 
Professor  Kuenen,  who  it  appears  has  announced  that  he  can 
"  safely  affirm  "  that  Buddhism  had  no  influence  at  all  on  the 
origin  of  Christianity.1  He  cites  Bishop  Lightfoot,  who  has 
stated  that  there  is  "  no  notice  in  either  heathen  or  Christian 
writers  which  points  to  the  presence  of  a  Buddhist  within  the 
limits  of  the  Roman  empire  till  long  after  the  Essenes  had 
ceased  to  exist."  He  cites  Professor  J.  Estlin  Carpenter,  who 
has  committed  himself  to  the  somewhat  extreme  statement 
that  from  the  date  of  the  preaching  of  Buddha  until  the 
advent  of  Christianity  "no  channel  of  communication  "  existed 
between  Buddhist  countries  and  the  West2  But  he  ignores 
Deans  Mansel  and  Milman,  and  is  silent  about  Colebrooke, 
and  Lassen,  and  Prinsep.  Also  he  has  not  a  word  to  say 
about  the  testimony  of  Asoka,  and  the  flood  of  light  let  in 
upon  the  intercourse  between  India  and  the  West  by  recent 
Orientalists. 

By  the  early  Phoenicians  the  commerce  of  the  East  was 
carried  across  Arabia  from  the  port  of  Gerrha  in  the  Persian 
Gulf.  It  was  then  shipped  on  the  Red  Sea  and  carried  up 
the  yElanitic  Gulf  on  its  road  to  Tyre.  That  some  of  the 
commodities  must  have  come  from  India  is  proved  from  the 
fact  cited  by  Herodotus,  that  cassia  and  cinnamon  were 
amongst  them,  which  articles  could  not  be  found  nearer  than 

1  "  Light  of  Asia,  etc.,"  p.  251. 

2  Nineteenth  Centiiry,  Dec.,  1880,  p.  979. 


GNOSTICISM.  231 

Ceylon  or  the  Malabar  coast.1  To  reach  Tyre,  these  goods 
had  to  pass  close  to  the  haunts  of  the  Essenes  near  the  Dead 
Sea. 

"  The  Phoenicians,"  says  Mr.  Cust,  the  Hon.  Secretary  of 
the  Royal  Asiatic  Society,  "  were  in  contact  with  India  at 
least  as  early  as  the  time  of  Solomon.  .  .  .  Then,  as  now, 
India  had  intercourse  with  the  Western  world  through  two 
channels,  by  land  and  by  sea."  Mr.  Cust  proceeds  to  show 
that,  from  the  tenth  to  the  third  century  B.C.,  Yemen 
was  the  great  central  mart  in  which  Indian  products  were 
exchanged  for  merchandize  of  the  West.  For  a  prolonged 
period  this  lucrative  traffic  was  in  the  hands  of  the  Sabeans> 
and  was  the  main  source  of  their  proverbial  opulence.  The 
trade  between  Egypt  and  Yemen  began  as  early  as  2300  B.C.  ; 
that  between  Yemen  and  India  was  established  not  later  than 
1000  B.C.  Even  in  the  time  of  the  Ptolemies  the  Indian  trade 
was  not  direct,  but  passed  through  the  hands  of  the  Sabeans, 
who  possessed  extensive  commerce  and  large  vessels.  Their 
ports  were  frequented  by  trading  vessels  from  all  parts  :  from 
the  Red  Sea,  the  Persian  Gulf,  the  coast  of  Africa,  and 
especially  from  the  mouth  of  the  Indus.  From  the  Periplus 
we  learn  that  Aden  was  a  great  entrepot  of  this  commerce, 
while  at  the  beginning  of  the  second  century  B.C.  the  island  of 
Socotra  was  the  centre  of  exchange  for  Indian  products.  Mr. 
Cust  argues  that  the  Indians  got  their  alphabet  from  the 
hieratic  form  of  the  Egyptian  hieroglyphics.2 

But  Alexander's  expedition  gave  a  great  spur  to  the  inter 
course  between  India  and  the  West.  Bactria  and  Persia  were 
in  the  hands  of  the  Seleucidan  dynasty,  until  Persia  revolted. 

This  brought  Antiochus  the  Great  into  the  field  to  restore 
the  authority  of  the  Greeks.  According  to  Polybius,  he  led 
his  army  into  India  and  renewed  his  alliance  with  Sophaga- 
senes,  king  of  that  country.  As  the  Asoka  edicts  were  incised 
on  rocks  some  six  years  after  Antiochus  came  to  the  throne, 
Prinsep  and  Wilford  believe  this  to  be  an  allusion  to  him.3 

1  Bunbury,  "  Hist.  Ancient  Geography,"  vol.  i.  p.  219. 

2  Journ.  Royal  As,  Soc.,  July,  1884.     "  Origin  of  Indian  Alphabet." 

3  Prinsep,  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Sac.,  vol.  vii.  p.  162. 


23 2  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Meanwhile  the  building  of  Alexandria  had  given  a  powerful 
fillip  to  the  intercourse  with  India  by  sea.  Alexander  had 
designed  it  to  be  the  capital  of  his  vast  empire,  and  the  bridge 
between  India  and  the  West.  This  project  was  ably  carried 
out  after  his  death  by  his  lieutenant,  the  first  Ptolemy. 
Under  his  wise  government,  and  that  of  his  successor,  Alex 
andria  soon  became  the  first  commercial  city  in  the  world. 
Of  more  importance  even  was  his  large  tolerance  of  creeds, 
whether  Egyptian,  or  Grecian,  or  Jewish.  In  the  year  209 
B.C.,  Ptolemy  Evergetes  was  on  the  throne.  He  conquered 
Abyssinia  and  a  greater  part  of  Asia,  including  Syria,  Phoenicia, 
Babylonia,  Persis,  Media.  His  conquests  extended  to  Bactria, 
and  he  had  a  large  fleet  on  the  Red  Sea.  This  placed  him  in 
contact  with  India  from  two  different  directions. 

He  married  the  daughter  of  Magas,  king  of  Cyrene. 
Macedonia  was  ruled  by  Antigone  at  this  particular  date. 

This  brings  us  to  the  celebrated  rock  inscriptions  of  King 
Asoka,  surnamed  Devanampiyo,  the  beloved  of  the  devas  or 
spirits.  They  have  set  at  rest  for  ever  the  question  whether 
Buddhism  was  propagated  westwards. 

On  the  Girnar  Rock,  in  Gujerat,  the  name  of  Antiochus 
the  Great  occurs  four  times.  This  is  one  passage — 

"  And  moreover  within  the  dominions  of  Antiochus,  the 
Greek  king,  of  which  Antiochus's  generals  are  the  rulers, 
everywhere  Piyadasi's  (Asoka's)  double  system  of  medical 
aid  is  established,  both  medical  aid  for  men  and  medical  aid 
for  animals,  together  with  medicaments  of  all  sorts,  which 
are  suitable  for  men  and  suitable  for  animals."  l 

This  is  the  second  inscription  : — 

"  And  the  Greek  king  besides,  by  whom  the  four  Greek 
kings  Ptolemaios,  and  Gengakenos,  and  Magas  .  .  .  (have 
been  induced  to  permit)  .  .  . 

"  Both  here  and  in  foreign  countries  everywhere  (the 
people)  follow  the  doctrine  of  the  religion  of  Devanampiya, 
wheresoever  it  reacheth."  2 

Now,  here  we  have,  indelibly  carved  in  the  rocks,  a  pure 
piece  of  history.  It  shows  that  the  Buddhist  king  Asoka 

1  Prinsep,  Journ.  Ben.  As.  Soc.,  vol.  vii.  p.  159.          2  j^^  p  2§lt 


GNOSTICISM.  233 

was  closely  associated  with  the  Greeks,  and  that  he  sent 
missionaries  to  Egypt.  It  shows,  furthermore,  that  at  any 
rate  he  was  under  an  impression  that  the  Buddhist  religion 
had  been  there  established.  One  more  piece  of  evidence 
I  may  notice  here.  In  the  "  Mahawanso,"  or  old  history  of 
Ceylon,  it  is  announced  that  on  the  occasion  of  the  building 
of  the  Buddhist  tope  of  Ruanwelli,  enormous  numbers  of 
Buddhist  monks  came  from  all  parts,  including  thirty  thousand 
"  from  the  vicinity  of  A'lasadda,  the  capital  of  the  Yona 
(Greek)  country."  In  the  same  history  is  a  statement  that 
Asoka  did  send  a  missionary  named  Maharakkhita  to  Greece.1 

A'lasadda  is  agreed  by  all  Orientalists  to  be  Alexandria. 
Bishop  Lightfoot  considers  that  the  passage  refers  to  Alex 
andria  ad  Caucasum,  a  not  very  important  town  some 
twenty-five  miles  from  Cabul.  Koppen,  on  the  other  hand, 
and  Helgenfeld,  consider  that  "Alexandria,  the  capital  of 
the  Yona  country,"  must  be  Alexandria  in  Egypt.  The 
Buddhist  history  states  that  the  monks — all  Indian  histories 
exaggerate  numbers — came  from  "  the  vicinity "  of  Alex 
andria.  This  word,  I  think,  is  important.  It  was  in  the 
vicinity  of  Alexandria  that  convents  of  monks,  practising 
rites  precisely  like  those  of  the  Buddhists,  existed  in  large 
numbers  in  the  days  of  Philo.  It  is  to  be  observed  that  it 
would  be  more  easy  to  get  to  Ceylon  from  Alexandria  in 
Egypt  than  from  Alexandria  ad  Caucasum  (Beghram). 

It  may  be  mentioned  here  that  the  Saturday  Review,  in 
its  onslaught  on  the  "  bold  assertions  "  of  Professor  Kellogg, 
points  out  that  Nagasena,  a  Buddhist,  had  a  discussion  with 
Menander  in  the  capital  of  Syria.2 

But  even  if  no  Buddhist  came  to  the  West,  without  doubt 
Buddhism  did.  For  about  this  time  there  arose  in  Alexandria 
a  teaching  called  "Gnosticism."  This  word  is  the  exact 
Greek  equivalent  of  "  Buddhism "  (Sans.,  Bodhi),  and  it 
simply  means  interior  or  spiritual  knowledge.  That  the 
anti-mystical  section  of  the  early  Christian  Church  was  quite 
aware  whence  Gnosticism  came  is  shown  by  the  form  of 

1  "  Mahawanso,"  p.  171. 

2  Saturday  Review,  February  6,  1886. 


234  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

adjudication  prescribed  for  those  who  renounced  it.  It  ex 
pressly  mentions  Bo'SSa  and  S»cu0mvo9  (Sakya).1 

Attempts  have  been  made  to  put  forward  the  date  of  the 
introduction  of  Gnosticism  to  the  second  century  A.D.,  but  an 
able  article  in  the  new  "Encyclopaedia  Britannica,"  by  Principal 
Tulloch,  shows  how  futile  these  attempts  have  been.  He 
says  that  at  the  date  of  Christ,  Egypt  and  Syria  were  so 
saturated  with  it  that  it  was  "  in  the  air."  It  is  to  be  found 
"  especially  in  the  theology  of  the  Alexandrian  Jews."  It  is 
"represented  in  the  writings  of  Philo  and  in  the  influence 
flowing  from  the  Persian  and  Buddhist  religions.'''  It  is  in 
the  Septuagint  and  the  Book  of  Wisdom.  He  cites  also  a 
number  of  texts  showing  Gnosticism  in  the  New  Testament. 
In  this  he  follows  Herder,  Mosheim,  Hammond,  and  Brucker, 
who,  as  Mutter  shows,  "  discover  Gnosticism  and  the  eastern 
philosophy  on  almost  every  page  "  of  that  sacred  volume.2 

According  to  Principal  Tulloch,  the  Gnostics  taught  that 
the  universe  "does  not  proceed  immediately  from  a  Supreme 
Being."  The  god  of  the  Gnostics,  like  En  Soph  of  the 
"  Kabbalah,"  is  formless,  inconceivable,  inactive,  and,  being 
perfect,  is  incapable  of  imperfect  work.  This  god  is  called 
by  Basilides  "The  Unnameable,"  and  by  Valentinus  "Buthos" 
(the  Abyss). 

"  From  this  transcendent  source,"  says  Principal  Tulloch, 
"  existence  springs  by  emanation  in  a  series  of  spiritual 
powers.  It  is  only  through  these  powers,  or  energies,  that 
the  infinite  passes  into  life  and  activity,  and  becomes  capable 
of  representation."  To  this  higher  spiritual  world  is  given 
the  name  of  nXq/obi/ia  (Pleroma),  and  the  divine  powers  com 
posing  it  in  their  ever-expanding  procession  from  the  highest 
are  called  al&vss  (VEons). 

The  Buddhist  words  Nirvritti  and  Pravritti  are  the  Buthos 
and  Pleroma  of  the  Gnostics.  It  was  held  that  for  countless 
millions  of  ages  Swayambhu  brooded  in  Nirvritti,  rayless, 
quiescent,  unfashioned  matter,  or  perhaps  I  should  write 
spiritual  substance.  Then  from  him  emanated  Padmapani 

1  Hunter's  "  India  Gazetteer,"  citing  Weber. 

2  "  Histoire  Critique  de  Gnosticisme,"  vol.  i.  p.  124. 


GNOSTICISM. 


235 


and  the  four  other  Dhyani  (heavenly)  Buddhas.  In  Gnos 
ticism,  from  "The  Unnameable,"  the  inactive  unborn  God, 
dwelling  in  Buthos,  proceeded  five  Beings  as  ./Eons,  Nou?, 
Aoyo?,  <Ppo'vrjcrt9,  So</*m,  Awa/it?,  who  peopled  the  spaces  with 
bright  spirits  dwelling  in  luminous  worlds.  This  fashioned, 
organic,  luminous  matter,  was  the  Pleroma,  or  Buddhist 
Pravritti ;  Nous  and  Padmapani  being  the  active  artificers 
in  either  case.  The  luminous  world  systems  were  called 
Ogdoads.  In  Buddhism  they  are  called  Buddha  Kshetras, 
luminous  counterparts  of  the  starry  dome  of  heaven,  with  the 
Great  Dragon  for  apex  and  the  zodiac  for  base.  Padmapani 
means  bearing  the  lotus,  a  bud  from  the  great  cosmical 
emblem.  In  Gnostic  gems  and  Buddhist  sculptures  the 
Divine  Child  is  usually  represented  either  seated  on  a  lotus 
or  holding  a  bud  in  his  hand. 

Here  is  a  representation  of  the  Child  Christ  taken  from 
the  catacombs.     He  also 
is  emerging  from  a  lotus 
or  lily. 

Padmapani  is  also 
called  Manas,  a  complete 
equivalent  for  Nous,  the 
head  ^Eon  of  the  Gnos 
tics.1 

We  have  shown  that 
Buddha,  as  the  elephant 
issuing  from  the  mighty 
fish,  symbolized  the  ac 
tive  God  ruling  in  Pra 
vritti,  or  the  Pleroma.  The 
same  is  said  of  Christ. 

"  It  was  the  Father's 
good  pleasure  that  in 


Fig.  21. 


Him  the  \v\\Q\epleroma  should  have  its  home"  (Col.  i.  19). 
"  In  Him  dwells  the  whole pleroma  of  the  j  G£^tead  } 
bodily  shape,  [i.e.  '  corporeally ']  "  (Col.  ii.  9). 

1  Hodgson,  "  Languages,  etc.,  of  Nipal,"  p.  78. 


236  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"The  Church  which  is  His  body,  the  pleroma  of  Him  that 
filleth  all  in  all"  (Eph.  i.  23). 

"  That  ye  may  be  filled  unto  all  the  pleroma  of  God,  unto 
the  measure  of  the  stature  of  the  pleroma  of  Christ" 
(Eph.  iii.  19). 

"Of  His  pleroma  we  all  received"  (John  i.  16). 

In  the  great  controversy  carried  on  by  the  Gnostics,  these 
texts  were  considered  most  important.  Their  works  have 
been  burnt ;  but  we  see  from  Irenaeus  that  they  also  relied  on 
the  frequent  mention  of  the  Gnostic  /Eons  in  the  New 
Testament. 

"  Even  the  mystery  which  hath  been  hid  from  the  /Eons 
and  generations,  but  now  is  made  manifest  to  his  saints " 
(Col.  i.  26). 

"According  to  the  purpose  of  the  /Eons,  which  He 
purposed  in  Christ  Jesus  our  Lord"  (Eph.  iii.  n). 

The  Gnostics,  too,  pointed  out  in  the  "giving"  (com 
munion),  the  prayer  to  "the  /Eons  of  the  aeon."1 

Perhaps  the  following  passage,  from  the  Liturgy  of  St. 
James,  is  what  is  alluded  to — 

"O  beneficent  King  of  the  /Eons,  and  Maker  of  the  whole 
creation."  2 

The  same  Gnostics,  in  their  controversy  with  Irenaeus, 
cited  (Eph.  ii.  21). 

"  To  all  the  generat'ons  of  the  /Eons  of  the  aeon."  They 
asserted,  too,  as  I  have  shown,  that  the  twelve  disciples 
signified  the  twelve  mystical  months  of  Christ's  life,  the 
twelve  /Eons  residing  in  the  pleroma  ;  that  the  twelfth  was 
Christ's  death,  the  "  suffering  /Eon  ; "  that  the  woman  with 
the  issue  of  blood  twelve  years,  meant  also  the  mystic  cured 
at  last.3 

They  asserted,  too,  that  all  created  things  were  images  of 
the  /Eons,  and  a  shadow  of  the  pleroma.4 

The  words  "  Gnosis  "  and  "  Sophia  "  are  used  for  mystical 
or  interior  knowledge  all  through  the  New  Testament. 

1  Iren.,  "  Hser.,"  bk.  i.  3. 

2  Neal,  "Liturgies  of  the  Greek  Church,"  p.  32. 

3  Iren.,  "  Haer.,"  lib.  i.  3.  4  Ibid.,  ii.  7,  8. 


GNOSTICISM.  237 

"Wisdom  is  justified  of  her  children,"  says  Christ 
(Matt  xi.  19). 

"Walk  in  Sophia,"  says  St.  Paul  (Col.  iv.  5). 

"And  thou,  child,  shalt  be  called  the  prophet  of  the 
Highest :  for  thou  shalt  go  before  the  face  of  the  Lord  to  pre 
pare  His  ways  ;  to  give  the  Gnosis  of  salvation  unto  His 
people  "  (Luke  i.  76,  77). 

"  But  grow  in  grace,  and  in  the  Gnosis  of  our  Lord  and 
Saviour  Jesus  Christ"  (2  Peter  iii.  18). 

"  O  the  depth  of  the  riches  both  of  Sophia  and  Gnosis  of 
God  "  (Rom.  xi.  33). 

Now  it  seems  significant  of  the  extreme  distance  that  we 
have  travelled  from  the  great  spiritual  thought  of  the  epoch 
of  Christ,  that  a  candid  and  acute  writer  like  Principal 
Tulloch  should  finish  his  article  on  Gnosticism  in  the  way 
that  he  does.  He  admits  the  Buddhist  derivation  of  it.  He 
admits  that  Philo  and  the  Septuagint  and  the  New  Testa 
ment  are  full  of  it ;  but  he  holds,  if  I  read  his  article  aright, 
that  when  Christ's  disciples  described  their  Master  as  the 
King  of  ^Eons,  and  Lord  of  the  Pleroma,  the  Son  who  alone 
could  reveal  the  Father,  whom  no  man  has  seen,  they  some 
how  spoke  not  as  missionaries,  but  victims  of  a  phraseology 
that  they  did  not  understand. 

Instead  of  the  Gnosis  of  the  mysteries  of  the  kingdom  of 
heaven  being  the  quintessence  of  Christianity,  it  was  a  foreign 
and  indeed  a  hostile  accretion.  A  dull  monk,  named  Irenasus, 
has  so  pronounced,  and  his  doctrine  is  final. 

Of  course,  the  poor  Gnostics  of  Alexandria  might  have 
replied,  "  If  you  think,  like  Irenaeus,  that  the  idea  of  an  in 
visible  Father,  dwelling  in  Buthos,  is  an  absurdity  ;  if  you 
think,  like  him,  that  the  world  was  created  by  the  Father,  and 
not  the  Son,  why  base  your  Christianity  exclusively  on  our 
writings?  You  must  either  discard  the  Fourth  Gospel,  or 
allow  its  authors  to  explain  its  meaning." 

In  point  of  fact,  the  notion  of  a  Divine  Son  being  born 
from  the  Eternal  Father,  by  the  help  of  Sophia,  though  the 
breath  of  life  of  the  religion  of  the  Gnosis  is  an  unmanageable 
accretion  in  the  lower  or  temple  Christianity.  On  the  plane 


238  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

of  matter  the  tritheism  of  the  Council  of  Nice  has  been  judged 
by  the  thought  of  modern  Europe  and  condemned.  This  is 
the  case  within,  as  well  as  without  the  Church,  and  in  Eng 
land  most  conspicuously.  The  trinity  idea  is  nominally 
accepted,  but  Broad  Churchmen  are  monotheists  who  worship 
the  Father,  Low  Churchmen  are  monotheists  who  worship  the 
Son,  and  High  Churchmen  are  monotheists  who  worship  the 
Holy  Ghost. 

"  O  God  the  Father  of  heaven  :  have  mercy  upon  us  miser 
able  sinners." 

"  O  God  the  Son,  Redeemer  of  the  world  :  have  mercy  upon 
us  miserable  sinners." 

"  O  God  the  Holy  Ghost,  proceeding  from  the  Father  and 
the  Son  :  have  mercy  upon  us  miserable  sinners." 

Unitarians  maintain  that  whatever  the  Athanasian  Creed 
may  be,  this  liturgy  is  either  pure  polytheism  or  pure  nonsense, 
and  it  is  difficult  to  find  a  flaw  in  their  reasoning. 

Man  comes  into  the  world  and  schemes  and  dreams.  He 
grows  grey  prematurely,  to  hand  down  his  name  as  a  states 
man,  poet,  soldier,  founder  of  a  house.  But  athwart  his 
schemes  and  dreams  comes  a  universal  experience — failure. 
The  inner  life  and  the  outer  life  can  never  correspond.  Years 
pass,  and  the  hard  facts  of  existence,  famines  and  spoliation,  and 
wars  and  misery  perplex  the  dreamer's  mind.  Alone  at  night 
new  thoughts  crowd  upon  him.  He  dreams  of  a  God  dis 
tinct  from  the  God  of  priests  and  creeds.  Beyond  the 
Pleroma,  beyond  the  million  twinkling  Ogdoads,  the  starry 
Buddha  Kshetras  of  the  Buddhist,  sits  the  Unnameable,  a 
God  that  evades  alike  philosophers  and  workers  in  marble. 

To  such  a  dreamer,  a  trinity  is  a  necessity.  Only  through 
the  anthropomorphic  God  can  he  get  at  the  Unseen.  And 
that,  not  by  the  aid  of  brain  and  Bible,  but  by  the  aid  of 
Sophia,  the  Holy  Ghost. 

It  is  a  relief  to  turn  from  modern  polemical  writers  to  the 
fine  Gnosticism  of  Clement  of  Alexandria.  Kaye,  the  late 
Bishop  of  Lincoln,  has  a  chapter  in  his  work,  "  Clement  of 
Alexandria,"  which  gives,  chiefly  from  the  Stromata,  a  good 
analysis  of  what  the  father  calls  the  teaching  of  the  "  Christian 


GNOSTICISM.  239 

Gnostic."  Clement  declares  that  there  is  a  "twofold  know 
ledge."  The  first  is  the  "  milk  for  babes  "  of  St.  Paul.  The 
second  is  the  "  strong  meat "  of  the  Gnosis.  The  first  is 
"  common  to  all  mankind,  irrational  as  well  as  rational,  being 
derived  through  the  senses  ;  "  and  the  other,  called  the  Gnosis, 
receives  its  character  from  mind  and  reason.1  The  higher 
knowledge  was  "  not  designed  for  the  multitude,  but  com 
municated  to  those  only  who  were  capable  of  receiving  it 
orally,  not  by  writing."2  Peter,  James,  John,  and  Paul, 
specially  received  this  Gnosis  from  Christ3  John  the  Baptist 
and  Job  are  conspicuous  examples  of  Gnostics  under  the  old 
law.  The  Gnostic  "  alone  possess  the  true  and  spiritual  mean 
ing  of  the  scriptures."  To  him  "  the  sayings  of  our  Lord, 
though  obscure  to  others,  are  clear  and  manifest." 4  The 
words— the  "  Elect,"  the  "  Seed  of  Abraham,"  the  "  Called," 
the  "  Spiritual  Levite,"  the  "  True  Israelite,"  the  "  Friend  and 
Son,"  the  "  King,"  do  not  refer  to  literal  Hebrews,  but  to  the 
winnowed  group  of  earth's  high  mystics.5  Gnosticism  is  the 
"  divine  science."  It  is  "  the  light  that  comes  into  the  soul." 
It  is  a  "  rational  death,  separating  the  soul  from  the  passions."  6 
It  is  not  born  with  men  ;  it  is  a  growth,  a  "  mystical  habit," 
acquired  by  degrees.7  By  it  "  man  becomes  assimilated  to 
God."  8  He  gains  the  privilege  of  being  called  "  brother  "  by 
Christ.  He  is  the  friend  and  son  of  God  ;9  he  is  the  "God- 
bearer  ; "  he  is  God,  walking  in  the  flesh. 

The  Unnameable  of  the  Gnostics  is  very  like  the  God  of 
Fichte's  fine  prayer — 

"  Exalted  and  living  Will,  whom  no  name  can  express 
and  no  idea  embrace,  I  yet  may  raise  my  heart  to  Thee !  for 
Thou  and  I  art  not  divided.  Thy  voice  is  audible  within  me. 
In  Thee,  the  Incomprehensible,  my  own  nature  and  the  whole 
world  become  intelligible  to  me  ;  every  riddle  of  existence  is 
solved,  and  perfect  harmony  reigns  in  my  soul.  I  veil  my 
face  before  Thee,  and  lay  my  hand  upon  my  lips.  Such  as 

1  Kaye,  "  Clement  of  Alexandria,"  pp.  239,  247.     See  also  Clement, 
S.  L.  6  D.  ccxxxvii.  i. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  241.  3  Ibid.  4  Ibid.,  240.        5  Ibid.,  p.  253. 
6  Ibid.,  240.               7  Ibid.,  239.        8  Ibid.,  233.        9  Ibid.,  242. 


240  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Thou    really  art— such    as  Thou    appearest  unto  Thyself— 
I  can  no  more  behold  Thee  than   I   can  become  like  Thee. 
After  thousands  of  thousands  of  lives  such  as  superior  spirits 
live,  I  should  be  as  little  able  to  understand  Thee  as  in  this 
house  of  clay.     What  I  understand  is,  from  my  very  under 
standing    it,    finite,    and    by    no   progression    can    ever    be 
transformed  into  the  infinite.     Thou  di  fife  rest  from  the  finite, 
not  in  degree,  but  in  kind.     I  will   not  attempt  that  which 
my  finite  nature  forbids.     I  will  not  seek  to  know  the  nature 
and  the  essence  of  Thy  being.    But  Thy  relations  to  myself  and 
to  all  that  is  finite  lie  open  before  my  eyes.     Thou  Greatest 
in  me  the  consciousness  of  my  duty — of  my  destination  in 
the  series  of  rational  beings  ;  how,  I  know  not,  nor  need  I  to 
know.     Thou  knowest  my  thoughts  and  acceptest  my  inten 
tions.     In  the  contemplation  of  this,  Thy  relation  to  my  finite 
nature,  I  will  be  tranquil  and  happy.     Of  myself  I  know  not 
what  I  ought  to  do.     I  will  do  it  simply,  joyfully,  and  without 
cavil,  for  it  is  Thy  voice  that  commands  me,  and  the  strength 
with  which  I  perform  my  duty  is  Thy  strength.     I  am  tran 
quil  under  every  event  of  the   world,   for  it   is   Thy  world. 
Whatever  happens  forms  part  of  the  plan  of  the  eternal  world 
and   of  Thy  goodness.     What  in  this  plan  is  positive  good, 
and  what  only  means  of  removing  existing  evil,  I  know  not. 
In  Thy  world  all  will  end  in  good — this  is  enough  for  me,  and 
in  this  faith  I   stand  fast — but  what  in  Thy  world   is  mere 
germ,  what  blossom,  and  what  the  perfect  fruit,  I  know  not. 
The  only  thing  which  is  important  to  me  is  the  progress  of 
reason    and  of  morality  through  all   the    ranks    of  rational 
beings. 

"When  my  heart  is  closed  to  all  earthly  desires,  the 
universe  appears  to  my  eye  in  a  glorified  aspect.  The  dead 
cumbrous  masses  which  served  only  to  fill  space,  disappear, 
and  in  their  place  the  eternal  stream  of  life  and  strength  and 
action  flows  on  from  its  source — primeval  life ;  from  Thy 
life,  Thou  Everlasting  One  !  "— Fichte,  "  Bestimmung  des 
Menschen." 


CHAPTER   XIX. 

Christianity  at  Alexandria—The  Church  at  Jerusalem. 

CHRISTIANITY  AT  ALEXANDRIA. 

I   NOW  come  to  a  very  important  question.     Was  there  any 
connection  between  the  Therapeut  monasteries  of  Alexandria 
and  the  subsequent  Christian  monasteries  in  Egypt  and  else 
where  ?    Smith's  "  Dictionary  of  Christian  Antiquities,"  denies 
this  unhesitatingly,  and  dates  the  Christian  monasteries  not 
earlier  than  the  fourth  century.     On  the  other  hand,  Catholic 
writers  maintain  that   it   is   quite    impossible   to   make  any 
historical  gap  or  line  of  severance  between  the  Therapeuts, 
"the  monks  of  the  old  law,"1  as  St.  Jerome  calls  them,  and 
the  Christian   monks  of  Alexandria.     Eusebius,  St.  Jerome, 
Sozomenes,  and  Cassien,  all  maintained  that  monasteries  in 
Christendom  were  due  to  the  Therapeut  converts  of  St.  Mark, 
the  first  Bishop  of  Alexandria.     Eusebius,  in  point  of  fact, 
has  an  elaborate  chapter  to  show  that  Philo, in  his  book  "The 
Contemplative  Life,"  made  a  mistake,   and  sketched  a  com 
munity  of  Christians,  believing  them  to  be  Jews.     St.  Jerome 
makes  the  same  assertion  ;  and  it  is  well  known  that  the  poet 
Racine,  in  a  fit  of  piety,  translated  Philo's  treatise  to  be  used 
as  a  Catholic  book  of  devotion.    It  is  important  that  no  writer 
in  the  early  Christian  Church  could  see  any  difference  between 
a  Therapeut  and  a  Christian  monastery.     Without  doubt  the 
three   grades   of  Christian    ecclesiastics — the  ephemereut  or 
bishop,  the  presbyter,  and  the  diakonos,  were  derived  from 
the  three  grades  of  Therapeut  monks. 
1  Epist.  IV.  ad  Rust. 

R 


242  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

If,  too,  there  was  no  connection  between  the  Therapeuts 
of  Alexandria  and  the  early  Christians,  why  was  the  word 
"  Therapeut "  first  used  to  name  the  new  sect  ?  "  The 
Christians,"  says  Bingham,  citing  Epiphanius,  "  were  at  first 
called  Therapeutae  and  Jessians." *  The  word  "  Jessians,"  by 
the  same  Father,  was  pronounced  an  equivalent  of  "  Essenes."  2 
St.  Dionysius  the  Areopagite  furnishes  us  with  another 
important  fact.  The  word  Therapeut,  in  the  early  church, 
was  used  to  describe  the  third  and  highest  grade  of  Christian 
initiation,  the  perfected  adept. 

The  other  names  given  to  Christians  in  the  earliest  times 
are  important.  The  school  of  philosophy  at  Alexandria  was 
called,  by  the  outside  world,  "  The  Eclectics,"  and  so  were 
the  early  Christians.  They  were  also  named  "  Brethren," 
"Believers,"  "Saints,"  "Temples  of  God,"  "Temples  of 
Christ,"3  all  strange  names  for  professed  anti-mystics.  It 
must  be  remembered  that  the  perfected  Essene  was  called 
"  The  Temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost." 

Another  important  name  was  made  use  of.  The  early 
Christians  were  called  "  Gnostics."  Clement  of  Alexandria 
calls  himself  a  Christian  Gnostic.  Athanasius  and  Evagrius 
Ponticus  also  make  use  of  the  same  term.  Socrates  cites 
a  passage  from  the  writings  of  the  latter  which  describes 
"a  monk  of  great  renown,  of  the  sect  of  the  Gnostics  ;  "  and 
he  shows  that  this  alludes  to  "  a  monk  in  a  village  called 
Parembole,  near  Alexandria,  whom  Evagrius  and  the  rest 
called  by  the  then  known  name  of  Christian  Gnostics."4 

The  monks  of  the  Greek  Church  still  retain  traces  of  the 
Therapeut  influence.  The  strictest,  those  of  the  "  Great 
Habit,"  content  themselves  with  four,  and  even  two  hours' 
sleep.  They  eat  no  flesh  ;  they  never  drink  anything  but 
water.  They  are  cenobites  ;  and  some,  in  a  little  garden 
with  figs,  grapes,  and  cherries,  still  attempt  to  be  anchorites, 
like  St.  Anthony.  In  the  Greek  Church  the  consecrated 

1  "Antiquities  of  the  Christian  Church,"  vol.  i.  p.  i. 

2  u  Hser.,"  ii.  29. 

3  Bingham,  "  Antiquities  of  the  Christian  Church,"  vol.  i.  pp.  3,  4. 

4  Bingham,  "  Antiquities  of  the  Christian  Church,"  p.  4. 


THE  EARLY  CHURCH.  243 

bread  (pain  benit)  is  almost  as  much  esteemed  as  that  of  the 
communion  table,  and  the  holy  water  is  drunk  eagerly  by 
the  sick,  etc.,  plain  echoes  of  early  Essenism.  The  poorer 
monks  cultivate  the  land  as  in  an  Essene  monastery.  In  the 
centre  of  the  monastery  is  the  sanctuary  detached  with  its 
"holy  gate."  The  cells  are  ranged  around  as  in  a  Buddhist 
convent.1  The  monasteries  send  out  their  begging  friars.2 

Bishop  Bigandet  has  pointed  out  that  there  are  "  numerous 
points  of  close  similarity  "  between  the  Christian  and  Buddhist 
ceremonies  when  a  novice  is  received  into  a  monastery.8  The 
main  rite  in  both  cases  seems  to  consist  in  what  Christendom 
calls  "  casting  off  the  old  man,"  as  symbolized  by  the  secular 
dress,  and  donning  the  new,  the  dalmatic,  alb,  and  other 
monkish  garments,  identical,  as  we  have  shown,  in  Christianity 
and  Buddhism.  With  the  Buddhists  the  head  is  clean  shaved 
on  the  occasion,  with  the  Christians  a  rim  of  hair  is  left  to 
represent  the  "  crown  of  thorns."  4  The  Christian  postulant 
appears  bearing  a  lighted  taper.  In  Buddhism  a  light  is  also 
kindled.  The  Buddhist  postulant  has  a  ring  placed  on  his 
finger,  and  so  does  the  abbot  in  a  monastery.5  In  the  Greek 
Church  the  "  Contacium  "  6  is  produced,  in  the  Buddhist  the 
"  Patimokkha,"  both  works  being  the  regulations  of  monastic 
life.  A  fan  is  given  alike  to  the  Buddhist  and  to  the  deacon 
in  the  Greek  Church.7  Vows  of  poverty,  chastity,  and 
obedience  are  pronounced  in  both  cases  after  much  cate 
chizing,  bell-ringing,  incense-burning,  hymns  to  the  Buddhist 
or  Christian  Triad,  etc.  At  one  moment  the  Bible  is  placed 
on  the  head  of  the  postulant.  In  Buddhism  the  same  cere 
mony  is  performed  with  the  Pancha  Raksha  Sastra.8  The 
head  of  the  monastery  (abbot  from  abba,  father),  with 
crozier  and  mitre,  conducts  the  proceedings  in  both  religions. 
A  feast  terminates  the  proceedings  with  the  Buddhists,  after 
the  neophyte  has  been  allowed  to  offer  the  food  oblations  to 

1  See  Picart,  "  Ce're'monies,  etc.,"  vol.  i.  pp.  67-71,  100-109 

2  Ibid.,  vol.  iii.  p.  136.  3  «  Gaudama,"  p.  488. 

4  Picart,  "  Ce're'monies,"  vol.  ii.  p.  130. 

5  Compare  Hodgson,  p.  140,  and  Picart,  vol.  ii.  p.  143. 

6  Picart,  vol.  iii.  p.  132.  7  Ibid.,  p.  131. 

8  Compare  Picart,  vol.  iii.  p.  132,  with  Hodgson,  p.  143. 


244  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  statues  of  Buddha  and  his  saints.1  At  the  ordination 
of  a  priest  the  same  power  is  given  by  the  ceremony  of 
touching  the  communion  chalice  and  pattine.2  In  a  Greek 
monastery  is  an  interesting  ceremony.  At  the  termination  of 
the  chief  meal  in  the  refectory,  the  presiding  monk  blesses 
a  small  portion  of  the  food  and  drink,  and  it  is  handed  round 
to  all,  quite  reproducing  the  Therapeut  "  mysteries  "  of  Philo.3 

THE  CHURCH  OF  JERUSALEM. 

This  brings  us  to  the  Church  of  Jerusalem  ;  and  the 
hastiest  glance  at  the  first  popular  work  that  describes  it 
shows  us  that  it  was  closely  modelled  on  a  Therapeut  com 
munity.  Renan,  in  his  work  "  Les  Apotres,"  calls  it  "  a 
monastery  without  iron  gates."4  Migne,  "  Dictionnaire  des 
Abbayes,"  brings  it  forward  to  overthrow  the  Protestant 
position  that  monasteries  were  unknown  in  the  early  church.5 
Its  members  were  cenobites,  as  Renan  shows.6  "No  one 
possessed  anything  that  he  could  call  his  own.  On  becoming 
a  disciple  of  Jesus,  he  sold  his  goods  and  gave  the  proceeds 
to  the  society.  The  officers  of  the  society  distributed  this  as 
each  had  need.  All  lived  together  in  one  quarter  of  the 
city."7 

There  were  other  points  of  close  similarity.  The  disciples 
lived  in  groups  of  houses,  with  a  central  house  as  a  place  of 
meeting,  making  the  resemblance  to  a  Therapeut  or  Buddhist 
monastery  as  close  as  was  practicable  in  a  hostile  city.8  "  Long 
hours  were  passed  in  prayer.  Ecstasies  were  frequent.  Each 
one  believed  himself  constantly  under  the  influence  of  divine 
inspiration."  9  The  breaking  of  bread  was  mystical  and  sacra 
mental.  "  The  bread  itself  became  in  a  certain  sense  Jesus, 
conceived  as  the  sole  source  of  human  strength."  10  These 
repasts,  which  Renan  calls  the  "  soul  of  Christian  mysteries," 
took  place  first  of  all  at  night,  as  with  the  Therapeuts.  They 

1  Hodgson,  p.  142.  2  Picart,  vol.  ii.  p.  133. 

3  Ibid.,  vol.  iii.  p.  137.  4  Renan,  "Les  Apotres,"  p.  75. 

5  Ibid.,  p.  970.  6  Ibid.,  pp.  75,  86. 

7  Ibid.,  p.  76  ;  see  also  Acts  ii.  44, 46, 47. 

8  Ibid.,  p.  76  ;  Acts  xii.  12.  9  Ibid.,  p.  76.  10  Ibid.,  p.  76. 


THE  EARLY  CHURCH.  24$ 

were  then  restricted  to  evenings  of  Sunday,  and  by-and-by 
were  celebrated  in  the  morning.  The  temporary  chef  de  table, 
as  Renan  calls  him,  broke  the  bread  and  blessed  the  cup. 
Here  we  have  the  ephemereut  of  the  Therapeuts.1  Into  these 
poor  houses  of  holy  beggars  the  commonest  beggar  found 
admittance.  This  was,  as  Renan  suggests,  the  great  engine 
of  propagandism.  Penury  found  clothing  and  food  and 
sympathy.  The  proud  exclusiveness  of  the  high  caste  Jews 
was  denounced.  The  doors  of  heaven  were  thrown  open  to 
the  poor  man.2 

We  see,  too,  that  within  a  year  or  two  of  Christ's  death 
seven  deacons  were  chosen.  This  is  a  Therapeut  title,  and  a 
Therapeut  office.  "  Sisters  "  also  have  their  holy  functions,3 
a  Therapeut  custom,  but  one  that  went  completely  counter  to 
the  genius  of  the  Lower  Judaism.4  Renan,  an  impartial  judge, 
says  that  the  Protestants  in  modernizing  nuns,  beguines,  brides 
of  heaven,  cenobites,  socialism,  fail  to  appreciate  the  very 
earliest  institutions  of  Christianity.5 

And  as  we  read  his  glowing  pages  describing  these  days, 
we  are  a  little  surprised  that  English  bishops  should  seriously 
state  that  the  aovc^Tr/?,  or  mystic,  was  unknown  in  them.  Far 
from  being  anti-mystical,  the  little  church  at  Jerusalem  has 
inspired  and  parented  all  the  highest  mysticism  that  the  West 
has  since  known.  "  All  the  secrets  of  the  great  knowledge  of 
the  interior  life,  the  most  glorious  creation  of  Christendom,  were 
there  in  germ."  6  St.  Basil,  St.  Arsenius,  St.  John  the  Mystic 
were  then  rendered  possible.  Quakers,  Irvingites,  Shakers, 
Mormons,  and  "  Spiritists  "  have  looked  back  upon  and  been 
developed  by  that  one  church.7  All  were  possessed  of  the 
spirit,  and  exhibited  all  the  phenomena  of  illuminism.  All 
had  the  baptism  of  the  spirit,  the  baptism  of  fire,  which  took 
the  outside  evidence  of  tongues  of  flame.8  The  risen  Saviour 
constantly  appeared  in  person,  as  He  has  since  appeared  in 

1  Renan,  "  Les  Apotres,"  pp.  81,  82.     He  cites  I   Cor.  x.   16;  Justin, 
"  Apol.,"  i.  65-67  ;  Acts  xx.  7-11  ;  Pliny,  "  Epist,"  x.  97  ;  Justin,  "  Apol," 
i.  67. 

2  Renan,  "Les  Apotres,"  pp.  116,  117.       3  Rom.  xvi.  i;  i  Cor.  ix.  5. 
4  Renan,  "  Les  Apotres,"  p.  122.  5  Ibid.,  pp.  123,  125. 

6  Ibid.,  p.  73.  7  Ibid.,  p.  62.  8  Ibid.,  p.  59. 


246  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

times  of  spiritual  fervour  to  other  visionaries.  "  In  an  island 
near  Rotterdam,"  says  the  French  scholar,  "  which  has  a 
population  of  austere  Calvinists,  the  peasants  believe  that 
Christ  comes  to  the  bed  of  death  to  assure  the  elect  of  their 
justification.  Many  see  Him  in  point  of  fact."1  The  visions 
of  the  Church  of  Jerusalem  were  produced  like  all  other 
visions,  by  a  "  life  of  fasting  and  austerity."  2  For  this  they 
had  the  example  of  their  Divine  Master,  who  went  through  a 
similar  preparation,  and  "  who  more  than  once  presented  in 
His  person  the  ordinary  phenomena  of  extasia."  3 

The  Church  of  Jerusalem,  the  Church  of  the  Nazarenes, 
as  it  was  called,  started  with  a  high  priest  of  Christendom. 

Eusebius,  on  the  authority  of  Hegisippus,  informs  us  that 
James,  the  brother  of  Christ,  was  appointed  high  priest  there 
after  His  death.  Epiphanius  confirms  this,  and  states  that  as 
high  priest  he  went  once  a  year  into  the  holy  of  holies.4 

I  will  write  down  the  passage  from  Hegisippus  about 
James — 

"  He  was  consecrated  from  his  mother's  womb.  He  drank 
neither  wine  nor  strong  drink,  neither  ate  he  any  living  thing. 
A  razor  never  went  upon  his  head.  He  anointed  not  him 
self  with  oil,  nor  did  he  use  a  bath.  He  alone  was  allowed 
to  enter  into  the  holies.  For  he  did  not  wear  woollen  gar 
ments,  but  linen.  And  he  alone  entered  the  sanctuary  and 
was  found  upon  his  knees  praying  for  the  forgiveness  of  the 
people,  so  that  his  knees  became  hard  like  a  camel's  through 
his  constant  bending  and  supplication  before  God,  and  asking 
for  forgiveness  for  the  people." 5 

This  passage  is  rejected  as  unhistorical  by  Bishop  Light- 
foot,  not  on  the  grounds  that  the  writer  is  reputed  untrust 
worthy,  but  on  account  of  the  ascetic  character  assigned  to 
St.  James.  But  the  early  fathers  believed  in  Hegisippus. 
Epiphanius,  in  commending  the  passage,  adds  the  sons  of 
Zebedee  to  the  list  of  ascetics. 

1  Renan,  "  Les  Apotres,"  p.  22. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  72  ;  see  also  St.  Luke  ii.  37  ;  2  Cor.  vi.  5  ;   xi.  27. 

3  Ibid.,  p.  70  ;  citing  St.  Mark  iii.  2i,  et  seq.;  St.  John  x.  20,  et  seq . ; 
xii.  27,  et  seq. 

4  "  Hcer.,"  Ixviii.  13.  5  Eusebius,  "  Hist.  Eccl.,"  ii.  23. 


THE  EARLY  CHURCH.  247 

"  For  John  and  James  together  with  our  own  James 
embraced  that  same  plan  of  life.  The  two  first  of  these  were 
the  sons  of  Zebedee ;  and  the  last,  being  the  son  of  Joseph, 
was  called  the  Lord's  brother  because  with  Him  [the  Lord] 
was  he  [James]  nurtured  and  brought  up,  and  by  Him  [the 
Lord]  was  he  [James]  always  held  as  a  brother,  on  account,  of 
course,  of  Joseph's  well-known  connection  with  Mary,  who 
was  married  to  him.  Moreover,  to  this  latter  James  only  was 
that  honour  assigned  :  once  yearly  to  enter  the  holy  of  holies, 
because  he  was  both  a  Nazarene  and  related  by  descent  to 
the  priesthood." l 

The  father  adds  that  James  ate  no  animal  food,  and  also 
wore  the  bactreum  or  metal  plate  of  the  high  priest.  Let 
us  see  also  what  Clement  of  Alexandria  says  of  St.  Matthew— 

"  It  is  far  better  to  be  happy  than  to  have  a  demon 
dwelling  with  us.  And  happiness  is  found  in  the  practice 
of  virtue.  Accordingly,  the  Apostle  Matthew  partook  of 
seeds,  and  nuts,  and  vegetables  without  flesh."  2 

This  picture  given  of  himself  by  St.  Peter  in  the  Clemen 
tine  "  Homilies  "  is  equally  Essenic— 

"  However  such  a  choice  has  occurred  to  you,  perhaps 
without  your  understanding  or  knowing  my  manner  of  life, 
that  I  use  only  bread  and  olives  and  rarely  pot-herbs  ;  and 
this  is  my  only  coat  and  cloak  which  I  wear." a 

Here  is  another  passage — 

"  The  Prophet  of  the  Truth,  who  appeared  on  earth,  taught 
us  that  the  Maker  and  God  of  all  gave  two  kingdoms  to  two 
[beings],  good  and  evil,  granting  to  the  evil  the  sovereignty 
over  the  present  world.  .  .  .  Those  men  who  choose  the 
present  have  power  to  be  rich,  to  revel  in  luxury,  to  indulge 
in  pleasures,  and  to  do  whatever  they  can.  For  they  will 
possess  none  of  the  future  goods.  But  those  who  have  de 
termined  to  accept  the  blessings  of  the  future  reign  have  no 
right  to  regard  as  their  own  the  things  that  are  here,  since 
they  belong  to  a  foreign  king,  with  the  exception  only  of 
water  and  bread  and  those  things  procured  with  sweat  to 

1  Epiphanius,  "  Haer.,"  Ixxviii.  13,  14.  2  "  Pasdag.,"  ii.  I. 

3  Clem.,  "  Horn.,"  xii.  6. 


248  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

maintain  life  (for  it  is  not  lawful  to  commit  suicide)  ;  and  also 
only  one  garment,  for  they  are  not  permitted  to  go  naked,  on 
account  of  the  all-seeing  Heaven." * 

The  popular  theory  of  the  day  is  that  Christ  and  His 
earliest  disciples  were  orthodox  Jews  who  proposed  to  fulfil 
every  jot  and  tittle  of  the  law  as  interpreted  by  the  dominant 
party.  Baur  is  the  leading  exponent  of  this  theory.  He 
holds  that  Christianity,  which  is  the  direct  opposite  of  Mosaism, 
came  from  St.  Paul. 

But  in  judging  ancient  creeds  there  is  an  infallible  test — 
rites.  What  were  the  rites  of  the  early  Church  of  Jerusalem  ? 

Plainly  those  of  the  Essenes.  They  had  baptism  and  the 
bloodless  oblation.  James,  the  first  high  priest,  abstained 
from  meat  and  wine.  He  was  consecrated  from  his  mother's 
womb,  that  is,  he  and  the  other  members  of  his  Church  were 
called  Nazarenes,  because  they  were  Nazarenes.  "We  are 
they  of  whom  it  is  written,  Her  Nazarites  were  whiter  than 
snow  ! "  says  Tertullian.2  St.  James  was  plainly  bound  by 
a  vow  to  abstain  from  wine  for  life.  He  shunned  the  use 
of  oil.  This,  as  I  shall  show,  meets  Bishop  Lightfoot's 
argument  that  the  Christians  could  not  have  been  Essenes 
because  they  used  oil.  Renan  cites  many  passages  to  show 
that  tribute  was  sent  to  the  high  priest  of  Christendom  from 
distant  churches.3 

If  we  could  bring  these  questions,  some  will  say,  from  the 
misty  realms  of  polemics  into  the  region  of  exact  historical 
knowledge,  how  happy  we  should  be.  It  so  happens  that  we 
can  bring  this  question  into  the  region  of  exact  historical 
knowledge.  A  most  valuable  document  has  survived.  It  is 
a  statement  of  the  case  of  the  Ebionites,  or  the  disciples  of 
the  Church  of  Jerusalem,  against  St.  Paul.  This  document  is 
known  as  the  Clementine  "  Homilies." 

In  it  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul  appear  and  argue  out  the 
various  points  of  Christian  teaching.  St.  Paul  is  Simon 
Magus,  and  the  main  points  against  him  are  that  he  "  rejects 

1  Clem.,  "  Horn.,"  xv.  7.  2  «  Ver  Marcion,"  iv.  c.  8. 

"  Les  Apotres,"  p.  78  ;  Acts  xi.  29,  30 ;  xxiv.  17  ;  Gal.  ii.  10 ;  Rom. 
xv.  26,  et  seg. 


THE  EARLY  CHURCH.  249 

Jerusalem,"1  and  believes  in  his  own  "visions."2  He  is  also 
accused  of  announcing  that  he  is  Christ  in  person.3  That  he 
never  was  the  Prophet  of  the  Gentiles  is  held  as  proved  from 
the  text  Matt,  xxviii.  19. 

But  more  crucial  questions  arise.  In  this  work  are  bloody 
sacrifices  forbidden  or  enjoined  ?  Is  mystic  communion  with 
the  next  world  a  crime  punishable  with  death  or  the  first 
duty  of  man  ?  Is  the  shewbread  of  the  temple  to  remain 
the  food  of  the  priests  exclusively,  or  is  it  to  be  given  to 
every  citizen  of  the  New  Jerusalem  ?  One  glance  at  such 
a  work  will  settle  such  questions  for  ever. 

That  glance  shows  us  that  the  author  of  the  Clementine 
"  Homilies "  is  a  disciple  of  mystical  Israel,  detesting  the 
ruling  of  the  Sadducees  and  the  anti-mystical  expositors. 
Against  the  sacrifice  of  blood  he  is  especially  moved.  The 
rites  of  the  Ebionites  also  are  the  rites  of  the  Buddhists, 
Essenes,  and  the  Christians,  as  we  know  them. 

In  the  arguments  that  are  carried  on  between  Simon 
Magus  and  Simon  Peter,  the  latter  boldly  cites  the  passage 
about  the  "jot  or  tittle."  He  gives  it,  in  fact,  in  a  form 
slightly  varying  from  St.  Matthew's  Gospel,  which  seems  to 
point  to  the  fact  that  he  is  citing  the  lost  Gospel  of  the 
Hebrews,  which  is  known  to  have  been  the  Gospel  of  the 
Ebionites.  The  passage  runs  thus  :  "  The  heaven  and  earth 
shall  pass  away,  but  not  one  jot  or  tittle  shall  pass  from  the 
Law." 4  This  fact  is  important,  as  it  shows  that  the  passage 
upon  which  such  a  large  superstructure  has  been  erected  was 
intended  to  bear  nothing  of  the  sort.  It  was  framed  to 
condemn  the  Mosaism  of  the  bloody  sacrifice,  and  not  to 
announce  that  it  was  the  ultimate  revelation  of  God  to  man. 
St.  Paul  is  strongly  condemned  in  the  argument  for  neglect 
ing  the  Hebrew  scriptures  ;  but  canons  of  interpretation  are 
laid  down  which  practically  annul  them.  It  is  announced 
that  the  Law  was  given  by  Moses  orally  to  the  seventy  wise 
men,  and  that  in  writing  it  down  "  many  chapters  "  have  been 
added. 

1  "Horn.,"  ii.  cap.  22.  2  Ibid.  3  Ibid.,  xvii.  7. 

4  Ibid.,  iii.  cap.  li. 


250  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  Gospel  is  cited  to  show  that  the  legitimate  ex 
positors,  the  Sadducees,  have  erred,  "not  knowing  the  true 
things  of  the  scriptures."  Here  again  we  seem  to  have  a 
citation  from  the  Gospel  of  the  Hebrews.1  Another  saying 
of  Christ  is  recorded,  "  Be  ye  prudent  moneychangers "  (in 
the  matter  of  scripture  interpretation).  The  canon  laid  dow'n 
in  the  Clementine  "  Homilies  "  is  that  the  only  test  of  a  true 
scripture  is  whether  or  not  it  coincides  with  the  teaching  of 
Christ.  This,  of  course,  practically  supersedes  the  Old  Testa 
ment  with  the  new  one. 

The  way  in  which  the  bloody  sacrifice  is  explained  away 
gives  us  a  good  idea  of  the  Essene  allegorizing.  St.  Peter 
argues  thus  against  St.  Paul— 

"  But  that  He  is  not  pleased  with  sacrifices  is  shown  by 
this,  that  those  who  lusted  after  flesh  were  slain  as  soon  as 
they  tasted  it,  and  were  consigned  to  a  tomb,  so  that  it  was 
called  the  grave  of  lusts.  He  then,  who  at  the  feast  was  dis 
pleased  with  the  slaughtering  of  animals,  not  wishing  them  to 
be  slain,  did  not  ordain  sacrifices  as  desiring  them,  nor  from 
the  beginning  did  he  require  them.  For  neither  are  sacrifices 
accomplished  without  the  slaughter  of  animals,  nor  can  the 
firstfruits  be  presented.  But  how  is  it  possible  for  Him  to 
abide  in  darkness,  and  smoke,  and  storm  (for  this  also  is 
written),  Who  created  a  pure  heaven,  and  created  the  sun  to 
give  light  to  all." 

The  first  Epistle  of  Clement  to  the  Corinthians,  an  epistle 
read  in  the  primitive  church,  confirms  the  account  of  the 
status  of  the  Christian  high  priest  of  Jerusalem — 

"Seeing  then  these  things  are  manifest  to  us,  it  will 
behove  us  to  take  care  that,  looking  into  the  depths  of  the 
divine  gnosis,  we  do  all  things  in  order  whatsoever  our  Lord 
has  commanded  us  to  do.  And  particularly  that  we  perform 
our  offerings  and  service  to  God  at  their  appointed  seasons, 
for  these  He  has  commanded  to  be  done,  not  rashly  and 
disorderly,  but  at  certain  determinate  times  and  hours.  And 
therefore  He  has  ordained  by  His  supreme  will  and  authority 
both  when  and  by  what  persons  they  are  to  be  performed, 
1  Comp.  Matt.  xxii.  29. 


THE  EARLY  CHURCH.  251 

that  so  all  things  being  piously  done  unto  all  well  pleasing, 
they  may  be  acceptable  unto  Him.  They  therefore  who 
make  their  offerings  at  the  appointed  seasons  are  happy  and 
accepted  because,  that  obeying  the  commandments  of  the 
Lord,  they  are  free  from  sin.  And  the  same  care  must  be  had 
of  the  persons  that  minister  unto  him.  For  the  chief  priest 
has  his  proper  services,  and  to  the  priests  their  proper  place 
is  appointed.  And  to  the  Levites  appertain  their  proper 
ministries.  And  the  layman  is  confined  within  the  bounds  of 
what  is  commanded  to  laymen.  Let  every  one  of  you  brethren 
bless  God  in  his  proper  station  with  a  good  conscience  and 
with  all  gravity,  not  exceeding  the  rule  of  his  service  that  is 
appointed  to  him.  The  daily  sacrifices  are  not  offered  every 
where,  nor  the  peace-offerings,  nor  the  sacrifices  appointed  for 
sins  and  transgressions,  but  only  at  Jerusalem.  Nor  in  any 
place  there  but  only  at  the  altar  before  the  temple  ;  that 
which  is  offered  being  first  diligently  examined  by  the  high 
priest  and  the  other  minister  we  before  mentioned  "  (ch.  xviii. 
ver.  13,  et  seq). 

Now  it  is  impossible  to  confuse  this  Christian  "  high 
priest "  and  the  Jewish  one.  It  is  stated  distinctly  that  the 
first  has  been  established  by  God  through  Christ  (xix.  7).  It 
is  also  stated  that  Christ  has  laid  down  what  "  offerings  and 
service  "  must  be  performed  (xviii.  14).  Indeed,  St.  Clement, 
misquoting  Isaiah  (Ix.  17),  finds  a  passage  promising  Christian 
bishops  in  the  works  of  that  early  prophet  (i  Clement  xix.  6). 

There  is  a  passage  in  the  Gospel  of  the  Hebrews  that 
throws  additional  light  on  the  head  of  the  Christian  Church  at 
Jerusalem.  The  author  of  the  later  portion  of  the  Acts  and 
Luke's  Gospel  is  an  author  who,  in  the  view  of  modern 
scholarship,  is  not  very  trustworthy.  He  writes  with  a  pur 
pose,  which  is  to  throw  a  veil  over  the  sharp  controversies  of 
St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul,  which  are  very  patent  in  other  parts 
of  the  New  Testament.  His  motive  also  is,  I  think,  to  give 
an  undue  prominence  to  those  apostles,  and  to  the  Roman 
Church  which  they  are  said  to  have  founded.  He  gives  Peter 
what  Renan  calls  a  "  certain  precedence,"  1  though  we  see 
"  Les  Apotres,"  p.  98. 


252  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

from  St.  Paul's  Epistle  to  the  Galatians,  that  when  James  the 
high  priest  sent  a  messenger  forbidding  Peter  to  eat  meat 
with  the  Gentiles,  he  felt  bound  to  obey.1  I  think  it  is  quite 
certain  that  if  we  had  the  earliest  gospel,  the  Gospel  of  the 
Hebrews,  we  should  see  the  status  of  St.  James  represented 
in  a  far  different  light.  It  was  written  in  Hebrew,  the  lan 
guage  of  the  disciples  at  Jerusalem,  and  was  used  by  the 
Nazarites  and  Ebionites  when,  after  the  destruction  of  the 
temple,  they  took  refuge  in  Palla,  beyond  Jordan. 

Fortunately  a  very  important  passage  from  this  Gospel 
has  been  rescued  to  us  by  St.  Jerome,  in  his  work,  "  De  Viris 
Illustribus."  In  it  we  see  that  the  first  apostle  that  Christ 
appeared  to  was  St.  James,  and  that  as  early  as  the  night  of 
the  crucifixion.  That  this  circumstance  should  be  mentioned 
in  the  earliest  gospel  and  suppressed  in  the  later  ones,  enables 
us  to  appreciate  more  justly  such  passages  as  that  of  Matthew, 
where  Christ  announces  that  Peter  is  the  rock  on  which  the 
Church  is  founded. 

"  The  Lord,  after  giving  His  shroud  to  the  servant  of  the 
priest,  went  forth  and  appeared  unto  James.  Now  James, 
since  he  had  drunk  in  the  cup  of  the  Saviour,  had  made  oath 
not  to  eat  bread  until  he  had  seen  Him  risen  from  the  dead. 
The  Lord  then  said,  '  Bring  me  a  table  and  some  bread  ! ' 
And  when  He  had  received  that  which  He  commanded,  He 
took  the  bread  and  blessed  it,  and  brake  it,  and  gave  it  to 
James  saying,  '  My  brother,  eat  this  bread,  because  the  Son  of 
Man  is  risen  from  the  dead.' " 

"  Maranatha  !  "— "  The  Lord  is  risen  !  "  This  was  the 
great  catchword  of  the  early  Christians,  and  this  passage 
looks  very  like  the  first  institution  of  the  communion  service. 
At  any  rate  the  account  of  the  last  supper  in  the  Gospel  of 
the  Hebrews  was  manifestly  quite  different  from  the  accounts 
given  in  our  present  gospels.  There  we  see  nothing  about 
James  drinking  out  of  Christ's  cup,  a  fact  which  proves  that 
the  contents  of  the  cup  must  have  been  water,  for  St.  James 
was  bound  by  the  vow  of  the  Nazarite  to  drink  water  for  life. 
"  The  Ebionites,"  says  Robertson,  "  abstained  from  flesh,  and 

1  Gal.  ii.  12,  13. 


THE  EARLY  CHURCH.  253 

from  wine  even  in  the  sacrament."  l  As  the  Gospel  of  the 
Hebrews  or  Nazarites  was  the  gospel  used  by  them,  it  is 
difficult  to  see  how  the  passage  about  the  "  fruit  of  the  vine  " 
could  have  been  in  it  when  they  used  it. 

This  brings  us  to  the  "temple"  where  St.  James  minis 
tered  as  high  priest.  It  is  plain  that  it  would  have  been 
quite  impossible  for  him  to  have  entered  the  holy  of  holies 
of  the  regular  temple,  if  only  for  the  obstacle  of  the  temple 
guards.  This  gives  a  significance  to  the  passages  in  Reve 
lations,  describing  the  temple  of  the  mystic  Jerusalem,  which 
of  course  would  be  modelled  on  the  temple  familiar  to  the 
white-robed  saints  of  the  material  New  Jerusalem,  the  "  angel  " 
taking  the  "  golden  censer,"  and  "  filling  it  with  the  fire  of  the 
altar,"  the  "  lamps,"  the  "  candlesticks,"  the  "  golden  altar,"  the 
"  incense."  Dean  Stanley  pronounced  that  the  catacombs 
were  modelled  on  the  sepulchral  crypts  of  Palestine. 

Keim  points  out  that  the  command  given  in  chap.  xi. 
ver.  2  to  leave  out  the  court  of  the  bloody  sacrifices  in  the 
ideal  temple  of  the  New  Jerusalem,  is  an  additional  piece  of 
evidence  in  favour  of  the  Essenism  of  early  Christianity  ;  and 
that  ver.  15,  chap.  vii.  points  to  Essene  night-worship. 

Perhaps  the  rites  of  the  Greek  Church  may  help  us  here. 
At  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning,  on  the  day  after  Good 
Friday,  the  Greeks  at  Jerusalem  put  out  all  lights,  including 
those  burning  in  the  holy  sepulchre.  They  then  act  like 
madmen,  wrestle,  kick  each  other,  yell,  howl,  and  roar  with 
meaningless  laughter,  at  least,  they  did  one  hundred  years 
ago.  Plainly,  the  general  idea  was  that  the  Light  of  the 
World  was  in  the  tomb,  and  the  demoniacal  host  rulers.  It 
lets  in  some  light  on  the  orgies  which  the  different  sections 
of  early  Christianity  accused  each  other  of  committing,  the 
lights  put  out,  etc.  It  shows  also  the  meaning  of  the  buffoon 
mass  in  the  cathedrals  during  the  Middle  Ages,  when  students, 
attired  in  mitre  and  cope,  holding  the  scriptures  upside  down, 
preached  mock  sermons,  and  turned  every  detail  of  the 
Christian  ritual  into  wild  tomfoolery.2  At  three  o'clock  in 

1  "  History  of  the  Christian  Church,"  vol.  i.  p.  33. 

2  Hone,  "Ancient  Mysteries,"  p.  159. 


254  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  afternoon,  the  Patriarch  of  Jerusalem  comes  with  a  large 
procession,  and  marches  three  times  round  the  holy  sepul 
chre.  He  then  enters  it  (the  solitary  time  during  the  year), 
taking  with  him  a  bundle  of  tapers.  All  these  ceremonies 
are  based  on  the  legend  that  fire  from  heaven  descends 
miraculously  to  the  holy  sepulchre  the  day  after  Good 
Friday.  Out  comes  the  patriarch  with  his  bundle  of  tapers 
all  lit,  and  the  mob  scramble  for  them,  and  wrestle  to  light 
their  own  tapers,  and  blow  out  those  of  their  neighbours.1 
After  this,  all  call  out,  "  Christ  is  risen  !  "  In  every  Greek 
church  at  this  time  they  give  the  kiss  of  peace  ;  and  the 
consecrated  bread  (pain  benit),  the  truest  relic  of  the  Essenic 
love-feast,  is  distributed.  The  sacrament  taken  at  this  time 
is  considered,  beyond  measure,  more  efficacious  than  at  any 
other.  Indeed,  many  pious  people  communicate  only  at  this 
season. 

Whether  in  this  little  picture  of  the  head  of  the  church 
at  Jerusalem,  going  alone  and  once  a  year  into  the  holy 
place,  we  get  any  key  to  the  similar  action  on  the  part  of 
St.  James,  I  cannot  tell.  The  sepulchre  of  the  Founder  of 
Christianity  would  probably  be  an  object  of  paramount 
veneration  from  an  early  date. 

As  a  centre  for  great  pilgrimages,  holy  offerings,  mira 
culous  cures,  etc.,  the  sepulchral  mound  of  a  great  saint  in 
Buddhism  had  already  acquired  the  highest  importance.  In 
the  earliest  catacombs,  we  see  that  the  sepulchres  of  Christian 
saints  were  similarly  utilized.  Pilgrimages  were  of  great 
importance  in  the  early  religions.  They  supported  the  priest 
hood.  Also  they  were  a  form  of  initiation  into  the  mysteries, 
Eleusis  being  simply  an  Indian  feast.  The  pilgrim,  as  in 
Buddhism,  trod  the  footsteps  of  some  great  teacher,  visited 
the  Bo  Tree,  the  Deer  Park,  and  the  many  caves  and  rocks 
where  Buddha  sate  during  his  spiritual  progress.  In  Christen 
dom,  the  pilgrimage  was  once  a  very  serious  thing.  The 
Armenians  prepare  for  one  for  seven  years,  fasting  forty  days 
in  each  year.  The  early  pilgrim,  like  the  modern  Greek, 
splashed  no  doubt  in  the  Jordan,  visited  Christ's  cell  in  the 
1  Picart's  "  CdnSmonies,  etc.,"  iii.  p.  143. 


THE  EARLY  CHURCH.  255 

Quarantania  Monastery.  Perhaps,  also,  he  kissed  the  holy 
stone  near  Bethlehem,  which  is  still  white  with  the  milk  of 
the  Virgin,  carried  away  specimens  of  the  rose  of  Jericho,  so 
useful  in  childbirth  and  peril  from  lightning,  measured  out 
his  future  shroud  on  Christ's  sepulchre,  and  had  the  record 
of  his  pilgrimage  tattoed  on  his  body.1  Rome,  with  its  feet- 
washing,  step  climbing,  and  its  "  stations  of  the  cross,"  gives 
us  probably  other  reminiscences.  To  this  day  the  Jordan 
cures  all  diseases,  mental  and  bodily.  Without  doubt,  the 
holy  city  was  the  focus  of  all  early  pilgrimages. 

But  it  may  be  said  that  this  high  priest  of  the  Christian 
Hebrews  dwelling  in  Jerusalem,  with  his  sacrifices,  his  Levites, 
and  his  holy  of  holies,  is  purely  a  Hebrew,  and  not  a  Buddhist 
derivation.  On  the  surface  this  is  so.  But  if  we  look  below 
the  surface,  it  is  impossible  to  conceive  two  more  dissimilar 
entities  than  Caiaphas  and  St.  James.  They  differ  as  much 
as  the  Messiah,  as  conceived  by  the  Pharisees,  and  the 
Messiah,  as  conceived  by  the  humble  Nazarites.  The  one 
is  supreme  in  the  realm  of  matter,  the  other  is  supreme  in 
the  realm  of  spirit. 

St.  Denys  the  Areopagite,  whatever  his  date,  throws  con 
siderable  light  on  this  point.  The  higher  mystics  have 
always  held  that  there  are  two  worlds,  the  one  of  matter, 
and  the  other  of  spirit  ;  and  that  the  spiritual  world, 
instead  of  being  far  away,  is  here.  The  one  world  is  a 
dead  world,  the  other  a  living  world  ;  for  all  the  life  in  this 
our  seen  world  is  borrowed  from  the  world  of  spirit.  They 
held  that  the  Kosmos  is  single,  not  dual,  and  that  the  army 
of  thrones,  dominations,  cherubs,  and  seraphs  mingles  with 
and  interlaces  with  the  higher  souls  of  the  human  hierarchy, 
the  object  of  all  being  one,  namely,  to  get  nearer  and  nearer, 
and  every  hour  more  in  harmony  with  the  Great  High  Priest 
of  the  sky.  He  sketches  the  point  of  contact  thus- 
Human  Order.  Celestial  Initiators. 

High  Priest Perfector. 

Priests  ...          ...          ...          ...     Illuminator. 

Levites  Purifier. 

1  Picart,  vol.  iii.  pp.  145,  221. 


256  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

It  will  be  seen  by  this  that  the  priests,  at  the  date  of 
St.  Denys,  were  an  army  of  initiated  mystics,  and  that  he 
never  could  have  sanctioned  the  absurdity  of  a  hierarchy  of 
non-initiated  officials,  such  as  the  pope  and  Church  of  Rome 
by-and-by  became.  The  vital  flaw  of  that  religion  is  not 
so  much  that  it  discountenances  mysticism,  as  that  it  gives 
to  a  mystic  an  instructor  not  himself  a  mystic,  as  the  court 
preacher  Bossuet  was  given  to  Madame  Guyon.  Such  a  pro 
ceeding  has  also  killed  the  spiritual  life  of  modern  Buddhism. 
The  Abbe  Hue  and  Colonel  Olcott,  tell  us  that  the  cultiva 
tion  of  mysticism  has  passed  away. 


257 


CHAPTER    XX. 

BISHOP   LlGHTFOOT  ON   THE   ESSENES. 

DR.  LlGHTFOOT,  in  his  work,  "  Epistles  to  the  Galatians,"  has 
given  a  vivid  picture  of  the  Church  of  Jerusalem.  He  admits 
that  they  were  Essenes  and  Ebionites,  water-drinking  ascetics, 
who  rejected  flesh  meat.1  They  were  pure  Gnostics  2  like  the 
other  Essenes.  This  seems  at  first  sight  the  very  proposition 
that  I  am  seeking  to  establish.  If  the  earliest  Christian  church 
were  Essenes,  it  affords  a  strong  presumption  that  Essenism 
and  Christianity  were  connected  together. 

But  Dr.  Lightfoot  will  not  allow  this.  The  Church  of 
Jerusalem  were  "heretics."  At  some  time  between  Christ's 
death  and  the  Epistle  of  St.  Paul  to  the  Colossians,3  a 
sort  of  pre-historic  Anglicanism  ruled  in  Jerusalem,  without 
monks,  nuns,  monasteries,  mysticism.  The  views  of  these 
believers  in  the  matter  of  the  Trinity  approached  "the 
Catholic  standard  ; "  whereas  the  Essene  Ebionites  regarded 
Christ  as  a  prophet.  Christ,  this  seems  a  necessary  inference, 
though  baptized  an  Essene,  effected  a  root-and-branch  revolu 
tion,  and  carried  His  followers  into  the  camp  of  anti-mystical 
Israel.  And  then  the  Ebionite  heretics  retraced  this  long  and 
difficult  pathway  step  by  step.  This,  of  course,  involves  two 
root-and-branch  revolutions,  and  that  in  a  very  small  space 
of  time  ;  the  first  to  establish  this  opposing  creed,  and  the 
second  to  overthrow  it. 

As  Bishop  Lightfoot  is  the  leading  advocate  of  the  pro 
position  that  between  Essenism  and  Christianity  there  was  no 

1  Page  313.  2  «  Epistle  to  the  Colossians,"  p.  98. 

3  Lightfoot,  "  Epistle  to  the  Galatians,"  p.  313. 

S 


258  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

connection  whatever,  and  that  the  two  religions  are  pure 
antagonisms,  we  will  now  consider  his  arguments  at  some 
length.  In  his  "  Commentary  on  the  Colossians,"  he  draws 
up  the  following  points  of  what  he  considers  radical  difference 
between  Essenism  and  the  teaching  of  Christ : — 

1.  The   Essenes  refused  to  take  part  in  the  ritual  of  the 
bloody  altar  at  the  temple  of  Jerusalem,  at  the  risk  of  being 
stoned.     Christ   and   his  disciples  went  up  to  all  the  feasts 
and  attended  the  bloody  sacrifices. 

2.  Essenism  is  based  upon   asceticism  which  "  postulates 
the  false  principle  of  the  malignity  of  matter."     The  Son  of 
man  "came  eating  and  drinking,  and  was  denounced  in  con 
sequence  as  a  glutton  and  wine-bibber." 1 

3.  The   Essenes  were  extra   strict   Sabbatolaters.     Christ 
strongly  condemned  the  superstitious  respect  for  the  Sabbath. 

4.  The  Essenes  added  constant  lustrations  to  the  law  of 
Moses.     Christ  strongly  condemned  these. 

5.  The  Essenes  went  beyond  the  most  bigoted  Jews  in 
their  avoidance  of  strangers.    Christianity  threw  open  Judaism 
to  the  Gentiles. 

6.  The   Essenes   considered   oil  a  defilement,  and  Christ 
was  anointed  with  oil  by  the  Magdalene. 

7.  The  Essenes  denied  the  resurrection  of  the  body. 

8.  The  Essenes  were  not  prophets  but  fortune-tellers. 

I  think  we  are  all  indebted  to  Bishop  Lightfoot  for  his 
industry  and  acumen.  He  has  collected  a  number  of  passages 
of  scripture  which  convey,  and  I  think  purposely  convey,  the 
idea  that  Christ  and  his  companions  were  not  Essenes.  I  for 
one  have  to  thank  the  bishop  for  helping  me  in  a  difficult 
research.  It  is  remarkable  that  almost  all  these  passages 
occur  in  one  gospel,  the  Gospel  of  St.  Luke. 

A  second  curious  fact  emerges.  The  Gospel  of  St.  Luke 
is  generally  thought  to  be  more  tinged  with  pure  Essenism 
than  any  other  gospel. 

In  St.  Matthew,  Christ  says, "  Blessed  are  they  that  hunger 
and  thirst  after  righteousness  ;  "  in  St.  Luke,  He  says, "  Blessed 
are  ye  that  hunger  now." 

1  "Epistle  to  the  Colossians,"  p.  170,  etc. 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  259 

Then  in  St.  Matthew,  Christ  is  made  again  to  say,  "  Blessed 
are  the  poor  in  spirit ; "  but  in  St.  Luke,  He  says,  "  Blessed  be 
ye  poor."  This  is  plainly  a  more  correct  version  of  His  words, 
for  they  were  followed  by  "  Woe  unto  you  that  are  rich." 

They  are  further  illustrated  by  the  thoroughly  Essene 
parable  of  Dives,  who  is  not  described  as  a  wicked  man  at  all, 
only  a  rich  man,  and  by  the  story  of  the  ruler— 

"  And  a  certain  ruler  asked  Him,  saying,  Good  Master,  what 
shall  I  do  to  inherit  eternal  life  ?  And  Jesus  said  unto  him, 
Why  callest  thou  Me  good  ?  none  is  good,  save  One,  that  is, 
God.  Thou  knowest  the  commandments,  Do  not  commit 
adultery,  Do  not  kill,  Do  not  steal,  Do  not  bear  false  witness, 
Honour  thy  father  and  thy  mother.  And  he  said,  All  these 
have  I  kept  from  my  youth  up.  Now  when  Jesus  heard  these 
things,  He  said  unto  him,  Yet  lackest  thou  one  thing :  sell  all 
that  thou  hast,  and  distribute  unto  the  poor,  and  thou  shalt 
have  treasure  in  heaven  :  and  come,  follow  Me.  And  when 
he  heard  this,  he  was  very  sorrowful  :  for  he  was  very  rich. 
And  when  Jesus  saw  that  he  was  very  sorrowful,  He  said, 
How  hardly  shall  they  that  have  riches  enter  into  the  kingdom 
of  God  !  For  it  is  easier  for  a  camel  to  go  through  a  needle's 
eye,  than  for  a  rich  man  to  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  God.'1 

This  is  the  pure  Essene  doctrine  that  no  admission  is 
possible  to  the  roll  of  Christ's  followers  without  the  poverty 
and  communism  of  the  Essenes,  and  all  through  the  gospel 
the  teaching  of  Christ  and  of  the  Nazarite  John  is  set  forth 
as  identical,  and  it  is  expressly  announced  that  this  teaching 
has  superseded  the  Law  and  the  prophets.  All  this  being  the 
case,  how  is  it  that  we  suddenly  find,  side  by  side  with  this 
teaching,  another  set  of  texts  which,  in  the  view  of  one  of  the 
most  acute  and  honest  writers  of  the  church,  set  forth  the 
doctrine  that  Christ  cancelled  the  teaching  of  John  ;  that 
having  joined  mystical  Israel  by  accepting  its  baptism,  that 
having  taken  part  in  the  Essene  fastings  and  communings 
with  what  Philo  calls  the  Divine  Essene,  having  denounced 
anti-mystical  Israel  for  keeping  the  key  of  the  gnosis  unused, 
and  having  trained  a  large  following  to  accept  beggary,  con 
tumely,  hate,  and  martyrdom,  in  a  sublime  crusade  against 


260  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

anti-mystical  Israel,  how  is  it  that  the  Great  Captain  should 
have  suddenly  marched  off  into  the  enemy's  camp,  allowing 
the  key  of  the  mystical  gnosis  once  more  to  rust  unused  in 
the  hands  of  Annas  the  high  priest,  and  binding  again  on  the 
shoulders  of  his  emancipated  followers  the  ceremonial  that 
was  so  grievous  to  be  borne  ? 

Surely  we  have  here  two  distinct  gospels,  due  certainly  to 
two  distinct  writers,  and  most  probably  to  two  distinct  periods 
of  Christendom. 

The  question  then  that  arises  is  :  Which  is  the  early  gospel, 
and  which  is  the  one  that  has  been  superadded  ?  To  help  us 
to  answer  this  question  we  have  valuable  historical  data  at 
our  disposal. 

1.  The  testimony  of  the  other  gospels. 

2.  The  other  writings  of  St.  Luke. 

3.  The  early  rites  and  customs  of  the  Christians.     This 
last  is  the  most  valuable  testimony  of  all,  for  ritual  is  far  less 
easily  altered  than  scriptures. 

I  propose  to  discuss  this  question  at  some  little  length,  for 
the  views  of  Bishop  Lightfoot  are  very  widely  spread. 

The  early  chapters  of  St.  Luke's  Gospel  seem  at  first  sight 
to  bear  out  the  bishop's  thesis.  The  parents  of  Jesus  go  up 
every  year  (from  A.D.  I  to  A.D.  12)  to  the  Feast  of  the  Pass 
over,  and  we  see  incidentally  (chap.  ii.  24)  that  they  belonged 
to  that  section  of  Israel  which  adhered  to  the  bloody  sacrifice, 
as  distinguished  from  the  bloodless  sacrifice,  for  they  sacrificed 
doves  in  the  temple.  Mary,  the  mother,  is  brought  into  close 
contact  with  Zacharias,  the  father  of  John  the  Baptist,  and 
Zacharias  is  said  to  be  a  "priest"  who  ministered  in  the 
"  temple  of  the  Lord  "  (chap.  i.  9). 

But  a  few  moments  of  careful  scrutiny  show  us  that  even 
in  these  chapters  two  distinct  hands  have  been  at  work. 
Zacharias  could  not  possibly  have  been  of  that  section  of 
Israel  which  piously  exclaimed  three  times  every  day,  "  O 
God,  send  thy  curse  upon  the  Nazarenes."  For  when  he  hears 
that  his  son  is  about  to  become  one  of  these  hated  Nazarenes, 
separated  even  from  his  mother's  womb  (Luke  i.  15),  and 
that  he  is  to  preach  the  Essene  doctrine  of  "  salvation  by  the 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  26 1 

remission  of  sins  "  (Luke  i.  77),  the  good  priest,  instead  of 
cursing,  is  filled  with  joy.  Plainly  the  words  "priest"  and 
"  temple  "  did  not  mean  the  priest  and  the  temple  of  dominant 
Israel,  for  Zacharias  further  alludes  to  that  section  as,  "  those 
that  hate  us,"  our  "  enemies,"  they  "  that  sit  in  darkness  and 
in  the  shadow  of  death  "  (Luke  i.  79),  which  he  could  scarcely 
have  done  had  he  belonged  to  their  body.  In  the  Revised 
Version,  the  word  "temple"  has  given  way  to  "sanctuary." 
Of  Zacharias  more  hereafter. 

There  remains,  then,  the  solitary  historical  statement  that 
the  parents  of  Christ  (from  A.D.  i  to  A.D.  12),  went  up  every 
year  to  Jerusalem  to  the  Feast  of  the  Passover,  and  took  part 
in  the  bloody  sacrifices  there  offered  up.  This  statement  is 
contradicted  in  toto  by  Matthew's  Gospel.  That  distinctly 
announces  that  when  the  Child  Christ  was  a  baby  its  parents 
carried  it  to  Egypt  to  save  its  life  from  Herod  ;  that  they 
remained  there  until  that  monarch's  death  ;  and  that  on  their 
return  they  avoided  Judaea  altogether,  for  fear  of  Archelaus, 
Herod's  successor. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  only  other  passage  on  which 
Bishop  Lightfoot  can  have  based  his  somewhat  sweeping 
statement,  that  Christ  and  his  disciples  went  regularly  to 
Jerusalem  each  year  for  the  three  great  festivals,  and  cele 
brated  them  according  to  the  edicts  of  Moses  with  bloody 
rites.  In  Luke  xxii.  we  read — 

"  Then  came  the  day  of  unleavened  bread,  when  the  pass- 
over  must  be  killed.  And  He  [Jesus]  sent  Peter  and  John, 
saying,  Go  and  prepare  us  the  passover,  that  we  may  eat" 

It  is  further  stated  that  these  disciples  accosted  a  man, 
who  took  them  into  a  house  within  the  walls  of  Jerusalem, 
and  "they  made  ready  the  passover,"  thus  plainly,  and  I 
think  intentionally,  inferring  that  this  "passover"  was  a 
slaughtered  lamb.  To  all  who  have  not  studied  Jewish  ritual, 
this  is  a  strong  statement.  But  in  point  of  fact,  if  the  descrip 
tion  of  the  passover  in  Luke  is  historical,  Christ  and  His 
disciples  infringed  the  Jewish  ritual  in  almost  every  particular. 
Before  I  go  into  this  question,  however,  I  wish  to  draw  atten 
tion  to  the  individual  that  St.  Luke  calls  the  "  good  man  of  the 


262  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

house."  Supposing  for  a  moment  that  Christ  and  His  disciples 
were  members  of  non-mystical  Israel,  it  is  perfectly  plain  that 
this  house-owner  was  not.  He  has  a  guest-chamber  in  his 
house,  like  the  other  Essenes,  and  on  receiving  the  pass-word 
from  the  "  Master,"  is  ready  to  risk  his  life  and  harbour  the 
brethren.  It  would  make  very  little  difference  to  the  inquisi 
tors  of  the  dominant  party  whether  a  lamb  was  killed  in  his 
house,  or  the  Bloodless  Oblation  was  offered  up.  Rites 
instituted  for  the  profit  of  the  dominant  priesthood  should 
have  been  performed  in  the  great  temple.  And  it  is  the 
neglect  of  these  rites  that  would  have  constituted  the  capital 
offence,  not  their  falsification. 

For  the  sixteenth  chapter  of  Deuteronomy  explicitly  lays 
down  that  the  Paschal  lamb  must  be  killed  "  at  the  place 
which  the  Lord  thy  God  shall  choose  to  place  His  name  in." 
Like  all  other  bloody  sacrifices,  it  must  be  slaughtered  in  the 
temple,  and  the  priest  must  receive  the  shoulder,  the  two 
cheeks,  and  the  maw  (Deut.  xviii.  3).  "  Thou  mayst  not 
sacrifice  the  passover  within  any  of  thy  gates  "  (Deut.  xvi.  5). 
The  edict  is  very  distinct.  "  The  assembly  of  the  congregation 
of  Israel  shall  kill  it  in  the  evening "  (Ex.  xii.  6).  The 
slaughtering  must  be  done  in  public  by  the  recognized 
slaughterers.  Also  the  lintels  of  the  door-post  must  be 
smeared  with  the  blood,  and  the  worshippers  must  eat  the 
flesh  with  their  loins  girded,  with  shoes  on  their  feet,  and  with 
a  staff  in  their  hands,  they  remaining  all  day  within  doors. 
None  of  these  injunctions  were  complied  with  on  this  occasion. 
It  was  impossible  that  Christ's  disciples  could  have  complied 
with  some  of  them,  for  they  were  forbidden  shoes  and  staves. 
But  a  valuable  test  is  in  our  possession,  for  this  last  supper 
was  made  the  model  of  the  daily  sacrifice  in  the  early 
Christian  Church.  Was  this  sacrifice  bloody  or  bloodless? 
From  the  earliest  days,  according  to  St.  Luke  himself 
(Acts  ii.  42),  it  consisted  not  of  a  lamb  but  of  bread.  In  the 
earliest  rituals  it  is  called  the  "  Bloodless  Oblation." 

But  perhaps  the  bishop  may  have  in  his  eye  a  chapter  in 
the  Fourth  Gospel.  Let  us  consider  two  separate  accounts 
of  the  feasts,  as  observed  by  Christ's  disciples  in  that  Gospel. 


BISHOP  L1GHTFOOT.  263 

"After  these  things  Jesus  went  over  the  sea  of  Galilee, 
which  is  the  sea  of  Tiberias.  And  a  great  multitude  followed 
Him,  because  they  saw  His  miracles  which  He  did  on  them 
that  were  diseased.  And  Jesus  went  up  into  a  mountain, 
and  there  He  sat  with  His  disciples.  And  the  passover,  a 
feast  of  the  Jews,  was  nigh.  When  Jesus  then  lifted  up  His 
eyes,  and  saw  a  great  company  come  unto  Him,  He  saith 
unto  Philip,  Whence  shall  we  buy  bread,  that  these  may  eat  ? 
And  this  He  said  to  prove  him  :  for  He  Himself  knew  what 
He  would  do.  Philip  answered  Him,  Two  hundred  penny 
worth  of  bread  is  not  sufficient  for  them,  that  every  one  of 
them  may  take  a  little.  One  of  His  disciples,  Andrew,  Simon 
Peter's  brother,  saith  unto  Him,  There  is  a  lad  here,  which 
hath  five  barley  loaves,  and  two  small  fishes  :  but  what  are 
they  among  so  many  ?  And  Jesus  said,  Make  the  men  sit 
down.  Now  there  was  much  grass  in  the  place.  So  the  men 
sat  down,  in  number  about  five  thousand.  And  Jesus  took 
the  loaves  ;  and  when  He  had  given  thanks,  He  distributed 
to  the  disciples,  and  the  disciples  to  them  that  were  set  down  ; 
and  likewise  of  the  fishes  as  much  as  they  would.  When 
they  were  filled,  He  said  unto  His  disciples,  Gather  up  the 
fragments  that  remain,  that  nothing  be  lost.  Therefore  they 
gathered  them  together,  and  filled  twelve  baskets  with  the 
fragments  of  the  five  barley  loaves,  which  remained  over  and 
above  unto  them  that  had  eaten.  Then  those  men,  when 
they  had  seen  the  miracle  that  Jesus  did,  said,  This  is  of 
a  truth  that  prophet  that  should  come  into  the  world" 
(John  vi.  1-14). 

Let  us  now  consider  the  seventh  chapter  of  John's  Gospel 
"After  these  things  Jesus  walked  in  Galilee:  for  He  would 
not  walk  in  Jewry,  because  the  Jews  sought  to  kill  Him. 
Now  the  Jews'  feast  of  tabernacles  was  at  hand.  His  brethren 
therefore  said  unto  Him,  Depart  hence,  and  go  into  Judaea, 
that  Thy  disciples  also  may  see  the  works  that  Thou  doest. 
For  there  is  no  man  that  doeth  anything  in  secret,  and  he 
himself  seeketh  to  be  known  openly.  If  Thou  do  these  things, 
shew  Thyself  to  the  world.  For  neither  did  His  brethren 
believe  in  Him.  Then  Jesus  said  unto  them,  My  time  is  not 


264  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

yet  come  :  but  your  time  is  alway  ready.  The  world  cannot 
hate  you  ;  but  Me  it  hateth,  because  I  testify  of  it,  that  the 
works  thereof  are  evil.  Go  ye  up  unto  this  feast :  I  go  not  up 
yet  unto  this  feast ;  for  My  time  is  not  yet  full  come.  When 
He  had  said  these  words  unto  them,  He  abode  still  in  Galilee. 
But  when  His  brethren  were  gone  up,  then  went  He  also  up 
unto  the  feast,  not  openly,  but  as  it  were  in  secret." 

In  the  Synoptics,  between  the  date  of  Christ's  disputation 
with  the  doctors  and  His  great  entry  into  Jerusalem,  there  is 
no  mention  of  His  going  to  Jerusalem.  This  has  induced 
critics  to  view  with  suspicion  the  many  visits  to  Jerusalem  of 
the  Fourth  Gospel.  In  any  case,  if  we  piece  the  two  accounts 
together,  it  is  evident  that  they  tell  against  the  bishop's 
theory.  The  passover  was  plainly  celebrated  with  Essene 
rites  far  away  from  Jerusalem.  This  creates  a  strong  pre 
sumption  that  the  "  feast "  that  the  disciples  went  up  to  was 
of  the  modest  pattern  described  in  the  early  Church  of 
Jerusalem,  an  Essene  breaking  of  bread  in  some  secluded 
house,  but  this  is  unimportant.  Supposing  the  narrative  to 
be  historical,  the  great  question  is,  Did  Christ  go  up  as  a 
partisan  of  the  bloody  altar,  or  as  an  apostle  of  the  bloodless 
altar?  Did  He  content  Himself  with  contributing  a  shoulder, 
two  cheeks,  and  a  maw  of  a  slaughtered  beast  to  enrich  and 
support  the  priesthood,  or  did  He  attempt  to  subvert  that 
body  ?  But  one  answer  is  possible.  It  is  announced  that  the 
chief  priests  sought  to  kill  Him,  and  sent  officers  to  take  Him. 
It  is  also  recorded  that  in  the  midst  of  the  feast  He  stood  up 
in  the  temple  and  told  the  most  strict  and  superstitious 
observers  of  a  written  scripture  that  the  world  has  ever  seen, 
"  None  of  you  keepeth  the  Law." 

From  their  lips  we  get  an  instructive  commentary.     They 
said  of  His  followers — 

"This/£tf//£  who  knoweth  not  the  Law  are  cursed." 
This  shows  that  the  legitimate  interpreters  of  the  Law  of 
Moses  were  well  aware  that  they  were  dealing,  not  with  a 
man,  but  a  multitude  ;  whose  interpretation  of  the  Law  of 
Jehovah  was  so  subversive  in  their  view,  that  it  merited  His 
malediction.  Much  accentuated,  we  here  get  again  the 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  26$ 

eternal  malentendu  between  mystical  and  anti-mystical  Israel 
on  the  meaning  of  the  word  "  law." 

If  the  narrative  of  the  chief  priests  being  compelled  to 
bribe  Judas  before  they  could  take  Christ  is  correct,  it  is 
difficult  to  see  how  the  account  contained  in  this  chapter  can 
be  historical.  Certainly  the  answer  of  the  bloodthirsty 
myrmidons  sent  to  seize  Him  in  the  temple  seems  an  im 
possible  one,  "  Never  man  spake  like  this  man  !  " 

Had  they  given  this  excuse  for  neglecting  their  chance  of 
seizing  Him,  they  would  have  been  executed. 

From  the  didactic  point  of  view,  the  meaning  of  the  two 
narratives  is  more  obvious. 

"  For  the  bread  of  God  is  He  which  cometh  down  from 
heaven,  and  giveth  life  unto  the  world.  Then  said  they  unto 
Him,  Lord,  evermore  give  us  this  bread.  And  Jesus  said 
unto  them,  I  am  the  Bread  of  Life,  he  that  cometh  to  Me  shall 
never  hunger;  and  he  that  believeth  on  Me  shall  never  thirst." 

These  are  the  words  of  Christ  regarding  the  first  feast. 

"  In  the  last  day,  that  great  day  of  the  feast,  Jesus  stood 
and  cried,  saying,  If  any  man  thirst,  let  him  come  unto  Me, 
and  drink.  He  that  believeth  on  me,  as  the  scripture  hath 
said,  out  of  his  belly  shall  flow  rivers  of  living  water." 

This  is  the  pith  of  the  second  ;  and  the  two  together  are 
a  sanctification  of  the  "  bread  of  God  "  and  "  living  water  "  of 
the  Essene  mysteries. 

We  now  come  to  the  two  texts  most  relied  on  by  those 
who  hold,  with  Bishop  Lightfoot,  that  mysticism  and 
asceticism  are  "  inconsistent  with  the  teaching  of  the  gospel."1 
On  these  a  vast  superstructure  has  been  raised  from  the  date 
of  Irenaeus  and  Pope  Victor  to  modern  times.  Let  us  read 
each  with  its  context. 

"And  when  the  messengers  of  John  were  departed,  He 
began  to  speak  unto  the  people  concerning  John,  What  went 
ye  out  into  the  wilderness  for  to  see  ?  A  reed  shaken  with 
the  wind  ?  But  what  went  yet  out  for  to  see  ?  A  man 
clothed  in  soft  raiment  ?  Behold,  they  which  are  gorgeously 
apparelled,  and  live  delicately,  are  in  kings'  courts.  But  what 
1  "Epistle  to  the  Colossians,"  p.  173. 


266  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

went  ye  out  for  to  see  ?  A  prophet  ?  Yea,  I  say  unto  you, 
and  much  more  than  a  prophet.  This  is  he,  of  whom  it  is 
written,  Behold,  I  send  My  messenger  before  Thy  face,  which 
shall  prepare  Thy  way  before  Thee.  For  I  say  unto  you, 
Among  those  that  are  born  of  women  there  is  not  a  greater 
prophet  than  John  the  Baptist,  but  he  that  is  least  in  the 
kingdom  of  God  is  greater  than  he.  And  all  the  people 
that  heard  Him,  and  the  publicans,  justified  God,  being 
baptized  with  the  baptism  of  John.  But  the  Pharisees  and 
lawyers  rejected  the  counsel  of  God  against  themselves, 
being  not  baptized  of  him.  And  the  Lord  said,  W hereunto 
then  shall  I  liken  the  men  of  this  generation  ?  and  to  what 
are  they  like  ?  They  are  like  unto  children  sitting  in  the 
marketplace,  and  calling  one  to  another,  and  saying,  We  have 
piped  unto  you,  and  ye  have  not  danced ;  we  have  mourned  to 
you,  and  ye  have  not  wept.  For  John  the  Baptist  came  neither 
eating  bread  nor  drinking  wine ;  and  ye  say,  He  hath  a  devil. 
The  Son  of  man  is  come  eating  and  drinking ;  and  ye  say,  Be 
hold  a  gluttonous  man,  and  a  winebibber,  a  friend  of  publicans 
and  sinners  !  But  wisdom  is  justified  of  all  her  children  "  (Luke 
vii.  24-35). 

It  is  a  singular  fact  that  this  short  passage  has  been  made 
the  chief  armoury  of  the  disciples  of  gastronomic,  and  also 
of  interior  Christianity.  Thus  Migne's  "  Dictionnaire  des 
Ascetes"  cites  it  to  show  that  Christ  approved  of  the  asceticism 
of  the  Baptist.  Does  not  this  at  starting  seem  to  argue  two 
teachings,  and,  as  a  corollary,  two  distinct  teachers  ?  If  we 
omit  the  passages  that  I  have  marked  in  italics  it  is  difficult 
to  find  a  more  eloquent  eulogy  of  ascetic  mysticism.  The 
Buddhist  mystics  are  called  the  Sons  of  Wisdom  (Dharma  or 
Prajna)  and  Christ  adopts  the  same  terminology.  Plainly  the 
gist  of  the  passage  is  that  the  children  of  the  mystic  Sophia 
have  no  rivalry  and  no  separate  baptism.  The  lower  life  of 
soft  raiment  and  palaces  is  contrasted  with  John's  ascetic 
life  amongst  the  "  reeds  "  that  still  conspicuously  fringe  the 
rushing  Jordan.  John  is  pronounced  the  greatest  of  prophets, 
and  his  teaching  the  "  counsel  of  God."  Then  comes  my  first 
passage  in  italics,  the  statement  that  the  most  raw  catechumen 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  267 

of  Christ's  instruction  is  superior  to  this  the  greatest  of  God's 
prophets.  It  completely  disconnects  what  follows  from  what 
precedes,  and  involves  the  silliest  inconsequence,  as  shown  by 
the  action  of  Christ's  hearers.  It  is  said  that  they  crowded 
to  the  "baptism  of  John."  Had  that  speech  been  uttered,  of 
course  they  would  have  stayed  away  from  it. 

The  subsequent  insertion  of  the  gospel  of  eating  and 
drinking  and  piping  and  dancing  involves  a  greater  folly.  It 
betrays  a  writer  completely  ignorant  of  Jewish  customs.  The 
fierce  enmity  of  anti-mystical  Israel  to  the  Nazarites  pivoted 
on  the  very  fact  that  the  latter  were  pledged  for  life  to  drink 
neither  wine  nor  strong  drink.  This  was  the  Nazarite's 
banner,  with  victory  already  written  upon  it.  Hence  the 
fierce  hatred  of  the  Jewish  priesthood.  If  Christ  in  their 
presence  had  drunk  one  cup  of  wine,  there  would  have  been 
no  crucifixion,  and  certainly  no  upbraiding. 

This  is  the  second  passage  that  anti-mystical  Christianity 
builds  upon— 

"  And  they  said  unto  Him,  Why  do  the  disciples  of  John  fast 
often,  and  make  prayers,  and  likewise  the  disciples  of  the  Phari 
sees  ;  but  Thine  eat  and  drink  ?  And  He  said  unto  them,  Can  ye 
make  the  children  of  the  bridechamber  fast,  while  the  bridegroom 
is  with  them  ?  But  the  days  will  come,  when  the  bridegroom 
shall  be  taken  away  from  them,  and  then  shall  they  fast  in  those 
days.  And  He  spake  also  a  parable  unto  them  ;  No  man 
putteth  a  piece  of  a  new  garment  upon  an  old  ;  if  otherwise, 
then  both  the  new  maketh  a  rent,  and  the  piece  that  was 
taken  out  of  the  new  agreeth  not  with  the  old.  And  no  man 
putteth  new  wine  into  old  bottles ;  else  the  new  wine  will 
burst  the  bottles,  and  be  spilled,  and  the  bottles  shall  perish. 
But  new  wine  must  be  put  into  new  bottles  ;  and  both  are 
preserved.  No  man  also  having  drunk  old  wine  straightway 
desireth  new :  for  he  saith,  The  old  is  better"  (Luke  v.  33-39). 

I  have  again  resorted  to  italics.  I  think  we  have  here  a 
genuine  speech  of  Christ,  and  a  very  important  one.  .  His 
doctrine  was  "  new  wine  "  and  it  was  quite  unfit  for  the  "  old 
bottles  "  of  Mosaism.  The  gravity  of  this  speech  was  felt  by 
the  Roman  monks  who  were  trying  to  force  the  new  wine 


268  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

into  the  old  bottles  (with  much  prejudice  to  the  wine),  so  they 
tried  to  nullify  it  with  flat  contradiction  let  in  both  above 
and  below. 

"  For  the  old  is  better." 

This  completely  contradicts  Christ's  eulogy  of  the  Chris 
tian's  "new  wine."  Moreover,  the  words  are  not  found  in 
Matthew's  version,  which  makes  the  cheat  more  palpable. 
There,  too,  we  have  the  gospel  of  eating  and  drinking,  a  gospel 
that  did  not  require  an  avatara  of  the  Maker  of  the  Heavens 
for  its  promulgation. 

But  supposing  that  we  concede  the  two  passages  to  be 
genuine,  I  do  not  see  that  the  priests  of  materialism  will  gain 
very  much. 

These  texts  are  internecine,  involving  contradictions  due 
either  to  more  than  one  author,  or  to  an  interpolator  singu 
larly  deficient  in  logical  consistency  and  common  sense.  The 
statement,  as  far  as  it  is  intelligible,  is  that  Christ,  having 
determined  to  forsake  mystical  for  anti-mystical  Israel,  made 
the  following  enactments  :— 

1.  That  the  ascetic  practices  that  He  had  taken  over  from 
John  the  Baptist  and  the  Nazarenes,  and  which  in  other  gos 
pels   He  enjoins  under  the  phrase  of  "prayer  and    fasting" 
as   the    machinery  for    developing    miraculous    gifts,  interior 
vision,  etc.,  shall    be    discontinued    by   His    disciples    during 
His  lifetime  and  then  again  renewed. 

2.  That  feastings  and  the  use  of  wine,  which  as  Nazarites 
He  and  His  disciples  had  specially  forsworn,  should  be  again 
resumed,  with  no  restrictions  in  this  case  in  the  matter  of  His 
death.    So  that  by  one  enactment  His  disciples  after  His  death 
were  to  remain  jovial  "  wine-bibbers "  by  the  other  fasting 
ascetics.     It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  bring  forward  the  true 
Luke  to  confute  the  pseudo  Luke. 

A  valuable  historical  transaction  is  recorded  by  the  real 
Luke  which  throws  a  strong  light  on  the  relations  between 
Christ  and  John  the  Baptist.  Towards  the  close  of  the 
Saviour's  career,  at  Jerusalem  itself,  the  chief  priests  accosted 
Him  and  asked  Him  by  what  authority  He  did  what  He  did. 
Now  if  the  relations  between  Christ  and  John  the  Baptist  had 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  269 

been  what  the  pseudo  Luke  would  have  us  believe,  Christ  had 
only  to  state  all  this  and  He  might  have  saved  many  valuable 
lives.  He  had  only  to  plainly  announce  that  His  movement 
was  not  from  anti-mystical  to  mystical  Israel,  but  from 
mystical  to  anti-mystical  Israel ;  that  He  had  introduced 
wine  and  oil  as  a  protest  against  Essenism  ;  that  He  had 
forbidden  its  ascetic  fastings,  and  brought  many  disciples 
back  from  "the  baptism  of  John"  to  the  orthodox  fold. 
If  He  had  stated  all  this  clearly,  the  high  priest  and  elders 
would  have  hailed  Him  as  a  friend  instead  of  slaying  Him  as  a 
foe.  But  the  Saviour,  evidently  quite  unaware  that  He  had 
led  a  great  movement  against  the  Baptist,  takes  refuge  behind 
John  instead  of  condemning  him.  He  asks  the  pregnant 
question,  Was  he  a  prophet  of  God,  or  was  he  not  ?  infer 
ring,  of  course,  that  he  was,  and  that  the  prophetic  gift 
was  "authority"  enough  (Luke  xx.  I,  et  seq.).  "For  I  say 
unto  you,  Among  those  that  are  born  of  women  there  is 
not  a  greater  prophet  than  John  the  Baptist "  (Luke  vii.  28). 
Here  again  we  have  the  real  Luke  confronting  his  unskilful 
interpolator. 

Point  2  has  been  dealt  with  all  through  this  book. 
Asceticism  was  the  Greek  word  for  mysticism  at  the  Saviour's 
date,  and  Dr.  Lightfoot  seems  to  include  all  mysticism  in  his 
attack.  He  talks  of  a  "  shadowy  mysticism  which  loses 
itself  in  the  contemplation  of  an  unseen  world,"  l  as  part  of 
the  "  false  teaching  "  of  the  Colossians  ;  also  of  the  "  monstrous 
developments"  and  "and  "heresy"  of  Gnosticism.  It  is 
plain  that  he  assails  not  the  abuses  of  mysticism,  but  the  thing 
itself. 

This  involves  two  distinct  questions — 

1.  Was    Christ  a  mystic,  Gnostic,   Nazarite— one  of  the 
type  that  the  writers   of  His   day  ranked  under  the  generic 
name  of  ao-KW/e  ?     I  have,  I  think,  already  shown  that  He 
was.     At   any  rate,   I    will    not   say  more   on   this  point  at 
present. 

2.  If  Christ  was  a  mystic,  does  such  a  man  make  himself 
and  his  surroundings  more  or  less  happy  than  the  proclaimer 

1  "  Epistle  to  Colossians,"  p.  73. 


270  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

of  the  gospel  of  eating  and  drinking— the  materialist,  in  point 

of  fact  ? 

Let  us  first  of  all  see  if  the  materialist  is  so  very  happy. 
Recently  his  creed  has  had  many  eloquent  exponents,  especi 
ally  in  France.  Two  days  ago  I  was  reading  some  powerful 
essays  by  Paul  Bourget,1  a  sympathetic  materialist,  notably 
one  on  Dumas  Fils,  the  poet-laureate  of  the  cultus.  Materi 
alism,  as  I  gather  from  these  teachers,  holds  that  there  is 
no  God,  but  Evolution,  and  that  science  is  promptly  sup 
pressing  the  creeds.  The  idea  of  any  life  after  death  is  not 
only  a  dream,  but  a  morbid  dream.  We  must  find  all  useful 
ness  and  all  enjoyment  in  the  present,  and  be  true  and 
honest  ;  but  the  ordinary  ideas  of  morality  are  also  visionary. 
Man  is 'a  tiny  cog-wheel  in  a  vast  mechanism,  and  his  acts 
depend  chiefly  on  his  surroundings,  the  sin  of  his  father,  the 
virtue  of  his  grandmother.  He  may  plunge  into  the  modern 
popular  pastime  of  money-making,  but  this  means  simple 
dishonesty,  with  its  accompanying  self-contempt.  He  may 
strive  to  be  a  poet,  an  artist,  a  statesman,  careers  in  which 
originality  means  heart-breaking  neglect,  and  a  wave  of 
unmerited  popular  favour,  a  back  action  that  is  still  more 
trying.  There  is  the  squirrel-cage  of  fashion,  a  little  weary 
ing,  and  the  actual  pleasures  of  the  gospel  of  eating  and 
drinking,  marred  a  little  in  modern  days  by  gout  and 
dyspepsia.  There  remains  the  absorbing  passion  of  man 
and  woman,  and  it  can  be  considered  under  three  aspects— 

1.  Venal  love,  which  ruins  the  greater  number  of  votaries. 
Even  its  factitious  blushes  and  blandishments  never  conceal 
the  idea  that  it  is  strict  barter. 

2.  Adulterous  love,  which   promptly  means   a  vast  con 
tempt  on  the  part  of  the  male,  arid  a  bitter  hate  on  the  part 
of  the  female.     It  is  perdition,  with  the  smallest  amount  of 

pleasure. 

3.  There   remains    conjugal  love,  which,   in   the   case  of 
a  few  sparse  "  ideals,"  may   mean  happiness  ;  but  the  con 
ditions  of  modern  life  render  such  ideals  almost  impossible. 
Woman  is  educated  to  be  not  so  much  a  wife  as  a  gainer  of 

1  "  Psychologic  Contemporaine  :  "  Nouveaux  Essais. 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  2/1 

husbands.  Her  training  is  perfect  up  to  a  certain  point,  the 
altar.  Every  detail  of  physique,  dress,  and  deportment,  has 
been  studied.  The  result  on  the  wedding  morning  is  a 
shrinking  ideal  of  charming  girlhood,  at  least  exteriorily.  It 
is  when  the  arts  of  the  mother  and  the  milliner,  the  governess 
and  the  barber,  the  tailor  and  the  dressmaker,  have  been 
stripped  off,  that  the  pair  see  their  real  selves,  and  not  their 
counterfeit  presentments.  The  sixteenth  century  lady  is 
confronted  with  the  nineteenth  century  man,  and  he  finds 
that  all  he  believes  to  be  truth  she  believes  to  be  fiction  ;  and 
all  he  believes  to  be  fiction,  she  believes  to  be  absolute  truth. 
The  result  is  a  duel,  more  terrific  in  its  rancour  and  hate  than 
any  stand-up  fight  between  man  and  man.  It  is  a  duel  pro 
longed  through  bitter  days  and  nights  for  many  years,  a  duel 
that  must  end  in  death. 

This  picture  is  too  French,  some  will  say.  In  England  we 
are  not  all  materialists  ;  and  even  the  most  materialist  of  our 
bishops  promise  us,  from  their  pulpits,  a  paradise,  when 
a  trumpet  shall  summon  us  from  our  coffins.  But,  unfortu 
nately,  in  these  days  of  exegesis,  both  preacher  and  flock 
know  quite  well  that  this  trumpet  was  promised  in  the  lifetime 
of  the  apostles,  a  fact  that  has  brought  it  into  some  discredit. 
At  any  rate,  on  the  Monday  the  preacher  and  his  flock  act  as 
if  the  trumpet  of  Sunday  were  a  very,  very  shadowy  thing. 

Now,  the  Gnostic  maintains  that  this  dark  picture  is  due 
not  to  the  landscape,  but  the  eye  of  the  beholder.  He  holds 
that  the  material  world,  instead  of  being  an  abyss  of  hopeless 
pain,  is  the  most  perfect  mechanism  that  could  be  conceived 
for  the  express  purpose  for  which  it  was  designed.  That 
purpose  is  to  open  the  spiritual  eye,  about  which  the  most 
paradoxical  misapprehensions  are  constantly  being  enunci 
ated  in  modern  pulpits.  This  means  not  to  plunge  us  into 
an  abyss  of  gloomy  pessimism,  but  to  rescue  us  from  it ;  not 
the  abdication,  but  the  discovery  of  happiness  and  joy  ;  not 
to  encourage  monkish  idleness  and  fanatic  selfishness,  but  to 
train  and  husband  the  individual  man's  powers  for  the  extreme 
of  work.  By  work  is  here  meant  the  only  work  that  is  of 
any  value  in  the  world — spiritual  work.  The  illuminati, 


272  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

instead  of  fattening  in  idle  convents,  have  marked  their 
passage  through  the  world  by  many  notable  monuments,  the 
ruins  of  overturned  tyrannies  and  superstitions.  Where  is 
the  iron  Brahminism  of  early  India  ?  Where  is  the  policy 
and  atheism  of  Caesar  ?  Where  is  the  Inquisition,  the  Star 
Chamber,  the  Bastille  ?  Amongst  the  sheaf  of  fallacies  about 
Buddha  is  the  fancy  that  he  passed  his  life  watching  his 
navel.  As  Bunsen  puts  it,  "he  renounced  in  despair  the 
actual  world  which  Christ  sought  to  raise  to  godlike  purity." 
These  are  words  without  meaning.  In  point  of  fact  the 
labours  of  Christ  and  Buddha  were  identical.  Each,  without 
rest,  travelled  about  teaching  the  spiritual  life. 

"  The  Gnostic  makes  his  whole  life  a  festival,"  says 
Clement  of  Alexandria.  .  And  a  very  intelligent  modern 
Buddhist  has  written  a  little  work,  called  "  Christ  and  Buddha 
contrasted,"  which  deserves  to  be  studied  here.  He  says  that 
there  is  an  Ego,  which  means  spiritual  ignorance  and  un- 
happiness,  and  a  non-Ego,  which  means  joy  and  God.  With 
the  intelligent  Buddhist,  heaven  is  a  state  resulting  from 
domination  of  the  Ego.  The  English  expand  their  com 
merce  by  war  and  slaughter  ;  and  deem  money-making  happi 
ness.  Their  heaven  is  as  material  as  their  life  here,  a  sort  of 
opera,  with  music,  singing,  and  even  eating  and  drinking. 
The  good  Buddhist  seems  to  forget  that  the  heaven  of 
Amitabha  is  also  sensuous ;  but,  at  any  rate,  he  reads  a 
valuable  lesson  to  our  materialism.  The  secret  of  the 
unhappiness  of  poet  and  preacher,  of  the  fine  lady  and  the 
pious  money-seeker  is,  I  think,  laid  bare.  Each  strives  to 
build  up  a  world  to  suit  his  own  blind  and  petty  ego,  instead 
of  moulding  the  ego  into  harmony  with  God  and  his  world. 

But  here,  perhaps,  it  may  be  urged  that  although  material 
ism  is  making  gigantic  strides  in  the  Church,  still,  in  Protestant 
Christianity,  there  are  many  excellent  ladies,  and  some  men, 
who  have  attained  a  high  spirituality,  far  higher,  as  thinkers 
like  Professor  Kellog  argue,  than  the  fanciful  inner  light  of 
the  "  lost "  Buddhist,  or  the  "  shadowy  mysticism  "  of  the 
heretic  Ebionite.  Such  people  go  regularly  to  church,  give 
much  money  in  charity,  attend  to  all  the  ordinances  of  their 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  2/3 

spiritual  advisers,  believe  that  they  have  "  grace  "  and  "  faith." 
They  are  of  the  "elect"  who  have  gained  atonement  through 
the  blood  of  the  Lamb.  This  systematic  restriction  of  Chris 
tianity  to  the  external  religion,  the  religion  by  body  corporate, 
shows  what  a  tremendous  gap  there  is  in  thought  and  feeling 
between  the  epoch  of  St.  Paul  and  the  epoch  of  Professor 
Kellog. 

St.  Paul,  in  his  earlier  life,  was  perhaps  the  most  illustrious 
votary  in  the  world  of  the  religion  of  exteriors.  Modern 
duchesses  and  serious  bankers  would  stand  aghast  if  they 
knew  all  that  this  involved,  A.D.  20.  Instead  of  languidly 
visiting  God's  house  twice  or  three  times  a  week,  and  adver 
tising  his  liberality  in  the  pamphlets  of  a  few  charitable  insti 
tutions,  St.  Paul,  like  all  contemporary  pious  Jews,  went  to 
the  temple  three  times  a  day.  On  awaking  in  the  morning 
he  exclaimed  fervently,  "  Blessed  be  Thou,  O  Lord  God,  King 
of  the  World,  for  spreading  out  the  dawn  on  the  mountains  ! " 
And  he  repeated  similar  ejaculations  for  every  pleasant  sensa 
tion,  pleasant  dish,  pleasant  drink,  pleasant  smell.  No  strict 
Jew  ever  terminated  a  day  without  the  orthodox,  "  One 
hundred  benedictions."  On  the  right  folding-door  of  his 
house  was  inserted  a  reed  containing  the  passage  in  Deute 
ronomy  that  promised  a  land  of  milk  and  honey,  abundant 
rain,  and  grass  and  fodder  for  cattle,  the  oil  of  fatness,  and 
corn  and  wine,  to  those  who  obeyed  the  eternal  edicts  of 
Jehovah.  In  this  passage  was  an  injunction  that  these  words 
should  be  written  upon  a  Jew's  house  and  his  gates.  He  was 
commanded  to  lay  up  the  words  on  his  heart  and  his  soul, 
and  to  bind  them  for  a  sign  on  his  hands  and  on  the  frontlets 
between  his  eyes.  All  these  commands  St.  Paul  religiously 
complied  with.  Whether  by  compulsion,  or  of  his  own  free 
will,  he  also  was  mulcted  of  many  trespass  offerings,  burnt 
offerings,  Sabbath  offerings,  tithes,  and  firstfruits  to  support 
the  priests  ;  and  like  all  Jews,  ancient  or  modern,  he  gave 
away  a  considerable  proportion  of  his  wealth  to  the  poor. 
Moreover,  he  looked  for  propitiation  to  the  blood  of  a  slain 
lamb. 

Also  the  fact  must  not  for  a  moment  be  lost  sight  of  that 

T 


274  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

St.  Paul  at  this  stage  of  his  existence  was  no  hypocrite,  no 
dull  formalist.  He  has  left  on  record  ample  proof  that  he 
was  both  zealous  and  sincere.  If  the  religion  of  externals — by 
which  I  mean  the  religion  of  rites,  prayers,  propitiation,  as 
distinguished  from  the  religion  of  interior  development,  could 
do  anything,  it  never  found  a  worthier  subject  than  St.  Paul. 
And  yet,  instead  of  being  proud  of  what  modern  popular 
theology  must  consider  the  most  healthy  period  of  his  life, 
he  can  scarcely  find  language  strong  enough  to  express  his 
abhorrence  of  it.  He  talks  of  "  beggarly  elements  "  (Gal.  iv. 
9),  the  "curse  of  the  law"  (Gal.  iii.  13)  of  "bondage,"  of 
being  "  under  a  curse  "  (Gal.  iii.  10). 

And  all  this  time  it  is  not  his  own  shortcomings  that  he 
assails,  but  the  shortcomings  of  the  system.  Cogs,  and  wheels 
and  elaborate  mechanism  can  make  a  good  automaton  whist- 
player,  but  not  a  man  with  a  human  soul. 

Modern  Christians  talk  freely  about  "  salvation "  and 
"  Christ's  blood,"  about  "  grace,"  "  the  elect,"  and  the  "  new 
birth."  If  one  of  these  could  be  suddenly  confronted  with  the 
shade  of  St.  Paul,  he  would  hear  language  that  would  astonish 
him.  He  would  be  told  that  he  was  using  the  terminology  of 
the  mysteries  without  the  least  idea  or  even  the  faculty  to 
understand  what  they  meant.  He  would  be  told  that  his 
ideas  about  "  Christ "  and  "  salvation  "  were  purely  material  ; 
and  that  the  spiritual  estate  of  the  real  "  Elect "  compared 
with  his  own,  could  only  be  suggested  to  him  by  the  symbols 
of  nature  that  express  extreme  contrasts,  light  and  darkness, 
life  and  death,  the  condition  of  a  venal  woman,  and  of  one  as 
pure  as  the  evening  star  when  it  has  just  bathed  in  the  ocean. 
He  would  be  told  that  in  the  "Hidden  Wisdom"  the  word 
"  grace,"  instead  of  meaning  a  rejection  of  mysticism,  meant 
"  the  whole  body  of  mystic  teaching  sprinkled  along  the 
Jewish  scriptures  in  such  a  manner  that  none  but  mystics 
could  read  it."  1  He  would  learn,  too,  that  until  he  could  find 
the  mystic  "  Key  of  David,"  that  unlocked  the  "  open  door," 
he  was  still  in  hell,  in  the  gloomy  world  of  torment,  presided 
over  by  the  prince  of  evil  spirits,  Samael  and  the  Whore. 
1  Ginsburg,  "  The  Kabbalah,"  p.  4. 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  2?$ 

3,  4.  Two  points  brought  forward  by  Bishop  Lightfoot 
may  be  considered  together.  It  is  alleged  that  Christ  con 
demned  the  extra  strict  sabbatolatry  of  the  Essenes,  and  their 
lustrations  added  to  the  Law  of  Moses.  But  here  an  objection 
suggests  itself  at  starting.  Bishop  Lightfoot  is  the  keenest 
and  most  learned  disputant  in  the  English  Church.  It  is, 
therefore,  important  to  respectfully  consider  all  that  such  a 
writer  can  bring  forward  on  a  subject  where  his  following  is 
so  enormous.  But  it  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  his  leading 
thesis  is  not  alone  that  Jesus  was  not  an  Essene,  but  that  He 
was  a  strict  observer  of  the  Laws  of  Moses,  as  interpreted  by 
their  recognized  exponents,  the  dominant  section  of  the  Jews. 
Supposing  that  we  grant  all  that  he  says  about  the  Essene 
sabbaths  and  their  lustrations,  is  it  not  plain  that  his  argument 
likewise  demolishes  his  own  theory,  unless  he  can  show  that 
the  numerous  passages  of  the  New  Testament  where  Christ  was 
adjudged  guilty  of  death  for  the  offence  of  sabbath  breaking 
are  spurious  ?  If  one  of  these  accounts  is  genuine,  it  is  per 
fectly  plain  that  Christ  was  not  an  observer  of  every  jot  and 
tittle  of  the  law.  When  the  bishop  retorts  that  he  was  Lord  of 
the  Sabbath,  that  argument  concedes  at  once  the  very  point  at 
issue.  It  relegates  him  to  the  ranks  of  mystical  Israel,  which 
held  that  the  voice  of  God  was  in  the  breast  of  the  living 
Nazarite  and  not  in  the  worm-eaten  records  which  the  Saviour 
contemptuously  called  that  "  which  hath  been  said  by  those 
of  old  time." 

But  it  is  not  until  we  consider  the  important  question  of 
the  rites  of  the  early  church  that  we  can  appreciate  the  full 
force  of  the  case  against  the  bishop.  The  Christians,  as  we 
see  from  the  earliest  record,  celebrated  their  Sabbath  on 
Sunday,  not  Saturday.  This  was  plainly  done  with  Christ's 
sanction,  and  no  conceivable  piece  of  evidence  could  more 
plainly  show  that  He  did  not  accept  the  ruling  of  the  domi 
nant  party.  It  has  been  suggested  that  Sunday  was  the 
Essene  Sabbath,  and  that  that  was  the  reason  of  the 
change. 

No  two  institutions  could  be  more  different  than  the 
Sabbath  of  sacrificial  and  the  Sabbath  of  mystical  Israel. 


2/6  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  Sabbath  of  the  dominant  party  was  a  holy  convocation, 
a  "day  of  blowing  of  trumpets"  (Numb.  xxix.  i).  It  was  a 
compulsory  feast  and  holiday  rather  than  holy  day,  on  which 
two  lambs  had  to  be  offered  up,  with  strong  wine,  and  a  tenth 
part  of  an  ephah  of  flour,  mingled  with  a  fourth  part  of  a  hin 
of  beaten  oil.1  As  a  considerable  portion  of  these  offerings 
went  to  the  priests,  the  savage  laws  about  the  very  strict 
observance  of  the  Sabbath  are  rendered  intelligible.  It  was 
a  weekly  tax  for  the  support  of  the  priesthood. 

"  This  is  the  law  of  the  meat-offering  :  the  sons  of  Aaron 
shall  offer  it  before  the  Lord,  before  the  altar.  And  he  shall 
take  of  it  his  handful,  of  the  flour  of  the  meat-offering,  and 
of  the  oil  thereof,  and  all  the  frankincense  which  is  upon  the 
meat  offering,  and  shall  burn  it  upon  the  altar  for  a  sweet 
savour,  even  the  memorial  of  it,  unto  the  Lord.  And  the 
remainder  thereof  shall  Aaron  and  his  sons  eat  :  with  un 
leavened  bread  shall  it  be  eaten  in  the  holy  place  "  (Lev.  vi. 
14-16). 

On  the  other  hand  Philo,  in  his  treatise  on  "  The  Contem 
plative  Life,"  gives  us  the  rites  of  the  Essenes  and  Therapeuts. 
Once  a  week  they  met,  "  clad  in  white  and  of  a  joyful  coun 
tenance,"  for  "  prayers,"  "  allegorical "  explanations  of  the 
scriptures,  hymns,  and  the  breaking  of  bread.  All  this, 
including  the  white  garments,  made  up  the  earliest  Christian 
rites,  so  it  is  plain  that  Christ's  followers  knew  little  of  His 
great  anti-Essene  movement.  Dr.  Lightfoot  says  that  Christ 
fulfilled  the  Law  ;  also  that  He  "  enunciated  the  great  prin 
ciple,  as  wide  in  its  application  as  the  Law  itself,  that  man 
was  not  made  for  the  Sabbath,  but  the  Sabbath  for  man."  '2 
The  Jews  had  certain  rites  for  Saturday.  Christ  appointed 
quite  different  rites  for  another  day.  If  this  is  "  fulfilling  "  a 
law,  how  can  a  law  be  broken  ?  It  must  be  remembered,  too, 
that  according  to  the  eternal  and  unchangeable  covenant  of 
Jehovah  ( I  Chron.  xvi.  17),  "the  priests,  the  Levites,"  were 
to  be  the  sole  interpreters  of  the  Jewish  law.  To  enunciate 
great  principles  of  expansion  or  change  was  in  consequence 

1  Numb,  xxviii.  I,  et  seq. 

2  Lightfoot,  "  Epistle  to  the  Galatians,"  p.  286. 


BISHOP  L2GHTFOOT.  277 

a  worse  violation  of  that  law  than  mere  disobedience.     Death 
was  the  penalty  (Lev.  xxii.  8-12). 

4.  On  the  subject  of  the  "  lustrations  added  to  the  Law  of 
Moses,"  the  bishop  seems  to  get  upon  still  more  dangerous 
ground.     Surely  the  first  question  that  at  once  suggests  itself 
is  that,  if  Christ  wished,  as  the  bishop  thinks,  every  jot  and 
tittle  of  that  Law  to  remain  intact,  why  did  He  introduce  the 
Essene  baptismal  lustration  into  his  religion  at  all  ?     Also,  if 
He  uttered  the  words  attributed  to  Him,  His  disciples  that 
He  left  behind  Him  to  spread  His  religion  seem  to  have  paid 
very  little  attention  to  them,  for  the  Church  has  always  used 
lustrations  at  child-naming,  adult  baptism,  exorcisms,  entering 
a  temple,  at  burial,  three  times  during  the  mass,  many  times 
during  the  consecration  of  a  church,  and  so  on.     It  is  to  be 
remarked,  too,  that  in  the  gospels  Christ  is  invariably  depicted 
as  condemning  the  lustrations  of  anti-mystical  Israel.     These 
passages  1  are  either  historical  or  unhistorical.     If  the  bishop 
detects  an  unhistorical  element  in  them,  they  are  worthless  to 
prove  his  case.     If  they  are  historical,  they  depict   Christ  as 
an  opponent,  not  a  partisan  of  anti-mystical  Israel. 

5.  In  the  matter  of  "  extra  Jewish  exclusiveness,"  I  fail  to 
follow  the   logic  of  Bishop  Lightfoot.     Philo   knew  nothing 
of    any  rabid    Essene    exclusiveness.     He   calls   the   Jewish 
mystics  "citizens  of  heaven,"  and  says  significantly,  that  they 
had    abandoned    "fatherlands"    as    well    as    children,    wives, 
parents,  brethren.     He  claims  that  they  were  akin  with   the 
Pythagoreans,  «  Mages,"  and  the  "  Gymnosophists  of  India," 
who  abstained  from  the  sacrifice  of  living  animals,  thus  plainly 
connecting,  I   may  point  out,  the   Gnosticism  of  Alexandria 
with  Indian  Buddhism.2   On  the  other  hand,  Mosaism  forbade 
missionary  labour.    The  prohibition,  says  Gibbon,  of  receiving 
foreign  nations  "  into  the  congregation,  which  in  some  cases 
was  perpetual,  almost  always  extended  to  the  third,  to  the 
seventh,  or  even  to  the  tenth  generation."  3 

The  fact  that  Christianity  seeks  to  bring  humanity  into 

1  Luke  xi.  37  ;  Mark  vii.  i,  etc. 

1  "  Every  Virtuous  Man  is  Free." 

3  "  Decline  and  Fall,"  chap.  xv.  ;  Deut.  xxiii.  3. 


278  BUDDPIISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  one  fold  "  is  adduced  by  Dr.  Lightfoot  to  prove  that  Christ 
belonged  to  the  non-proselytizing  section.  Surely,  the  inference 
is  exactly  the  reverse. 

6.  To  prove  his  position  that  Christ  was  anointed  with  oil, 
which   the    Essenes   considered   a  defilement,   Dr.   Lightfoot 
brings  forward  the  story  of  the  woman  anointing  Christ.     It 
is  told  in   a  very  different  way  by   Mark,   Luke,  and  John. 
Mark  says  that  Christ's  head  was  anointed  with  "spikenard 
very  precious,"  Luke  with  oil.     John,  on  the  other  hand,  says 
that  Christ's  feet  alone  were  anointed,  and  that  with  spike 
nard,  whilst  Luke  tells  us  that  the  feet  were  anointed  "  with 
tears."     This  last  is  the  most  beautiful  story,  and  seems  to  fit 
in  best  with  the  sequence  that  the  tears  of  even  the  Magna 
Civitatis  peccatrix   can   move  the  Ruler  of  the  Sky  to  com 
passion.     Probably  the  word  "  oil "  was  by-and-by  put  in  to 
give  a  sanction  to  extreme  unction.     That  a  prostitute  should 
anoint  a  man  in  good  health  "  to  the  burying  "  (Mark  xiv.  8) 
seems  improbable.     That  she  should  guess  that  a  zealot  of 
anti-mystical  Israel  was  about  to  be  put  to  death  by  His  own 
partisans  seems  impossible. 

The  word  anointing,  in  the  early  church,  was  applied  to 
its  baptism.1 

7.  "  The    Essenes,"   says    Bishop    Lightfoot,  "  denied    the 
resurrection  of  the  body."     So  did  Christ,  who  has  shown  us 
that  Lazarus,  the  penitent  thief,  Moses  and  Elias,  instead  of 
being  wedded  to  their  rotting  bodies  in   the  tomb  awaiting 
the  sound  of  a   trumpet,  are  in   skyey  "  mansions,"  the  two 
latter  certainly  in  spirit  bodies.    Paul  also  denied  this  physical 
resurrection.       So    does   chemistry,  a   science    of  which   the 
framers  of  the  doctrine  of  the  resurrection   of  the  material 
body   were   quite   ignorant.     The  human   body  is   so   much 
water,  lime,  gas,  etc.,  and  in  the  six  thousand  or  six  hundred 
thousand   years  that  the  human  race  has  endured,  some  of 
these  ingredients   must  have  formed  part  of  more  than  one 
dying  individual.     This  makes  it  impossible  for  every  one  to 
claim  the   exact  chemicals    that   made   up   his  body  at   the 
moment  of  death. 

1   Riddle,  "  Christian  Antiquities/'  p.  442 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  279 

8.  The  question  whether  the  Essenes  were  "  prophets  "  or 
fortune-tellers  belongs  chiefly  to  philology.  Was  the  Baptist 
an  Essene,  and  was  he  a  prophet  or  a  fortune-teller? 

Perhaps  I  may  here  mention  one  point  more.  The  narra 
tive  of  Jesus  turning  water  into  wine  is  believed  by  almost  all 
independent  scholars  to  be  didactic  rather  than  historical. 
Bishop  Lightfoot  favours  the  latter  idea,  and  bases  much  of 
his  argument  upon  it.  Dr.  Giles,  however,  gives  some  over 
whelming  reasons  why  it  cannot  be  pure  history.  Christ  is 
baptised  in  the  Jordan.  The  next  day,  according  to  the 
narrative,  he  converts  Andrew  and  Philip.  "  And  the  third 
day  there  was  a  marriage  in  Cana  of  Galilee"  (John  ii.  i).1 
Cana  is  seventy  miles  from  the  Jordan  near  the  Quarantania. 
This  is  a  long  distance  for  a  Nazarite,  who  had  just  taken 
the  vow  to  abstain  from  wine,  to  go  in  one  night  for  the 
purpose  of  breaking  his  vow  and  supplying  the  wine  of  P. 
festival.  Also  it  is  completely  contradicted  by  the  other 
gospels,  which  announce  that  after  Christ's  baptism  He  re 
mained  forty  days  in  the  wilderness. 

I  think  that  chronology  also  explodes  this  theory  of  a 
double  revolution.  Supposing  it  to  be  historical,  at  what 
date  did  Christ  carry  the  disciples,  whom,  as  we  have  seen, 
He  had  admitted  into  His  fold  with  what  He  called  the 
"  Baptism  of  John,"  into  the  camp  of  John's  murderers  ? 
Supposing  we  give  His  movement  an  early  date,  we  can 
scarcely  conceive  such  a  movement  would  be  reversed  by  the 
disciple  appointed  by  the  Divine  Spirit  to  succeed  Him  as 
head  of  the  Church.  James  was  martyred  A.D.  44,  and 
twenty-two  years  afterwards  pure  Essenism  was  not  only  the 
religion  of  the  Church  of  Jerusalem,  but,  as  Bishop  Lightfoot 
shows,  this  "heresy"  had  been  spread  by  this  Church  in 
Colossse  in  the  heart  of  Asia  Minor.  Accepting  the  doctor's 
dates,  is  not  this  a  very  short  time  for  two  root-and-branch 
revolutions  ? 

By  a  brief  comparison  of  Mosaism  and  Christianity,  it  will 
be  seen  how  sweeping  must  have  been  each  of  these  changes. 
The  institutions  of  Mosaism  seem  plainly  to  have  been 
1  "  Hebrew  and  Christian  Records,"  vol.  ii.  p.  178. 


280  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM 

devised  for  a  very  small  tribe.  This  is  proved  by  the  fact 
that  it  sanctioned  only  one  temple  ;  and  to  this  temple  once 
a  week  every  Israelite,  under  pain  of  death,  was  required  to 
repair,  to  enrich  and  support  the  priesthood  by  the  sacrifice 
of  two  lambs.1  For  the  three  great  yearly  festivals,  pilgrim 
ages  to  this  temple,  and  larger  offerings,  had  to  be  made  ;  an 
edict  that  became  very  burdensome  when  the  nation  increased. 
The  world,  to  a  savage  tribe,  consists  of  its  own  wigwams  and 
a  few  neighbouring  tribes,  who  it  fancies  will  slaughter  if 
not  slaughtered.  Hence  the  bloody  edicts  of  the  Jewish 
code. 

"  But  of  the  cities  of  these  people,  which  the  Lord  thy 
God  doth  give  thee  for  an  inheritance,  thou^  shalt  save  alive 
nothing  that  brcatheth  :  but  thou  shalt  utterly  destroy  them  ; 
namely,  the  Hittites,  and  the  Arnorites,  the  Canaanites,  and 
the  Perizzites,  the  Hivites,  and  the  Jebusites,  as  the  Lord  thy 
God  hath  commanded  thee"  (Deut.  xx.  16,  17). 

To  similar  archaic  civilization  must  be  attributed  the 
narrow  laws  against  marriage  outside  the  tribe,  commerce, 
and  propagandism.  The  theology  is  also  the  theology  of 
early  races.  God  resided  not  in  the  heavens,  but  in  an  ark 
of  shittim  wood,  covered  with  "  beat  out  "  gold,  in  the  midst 
of  the  tribe.  The  eschatology  was  the  eschatology  of  the 
cave  man.  The  soul,  after  death,  went  with  its  body  to  the 
cavern  where  it  was  entombed,  went  to  Sheol.  It  is  true 
that  the  prophets  learnt  from  the  Babylonian  priests  more 
noble  ideas,  but  these  were  discouraged  by  the  priests,  Avho 
wanted  God  still  to  be  conceived  as  residing  in  His  little 
"  ark."  It  must  be  remembered  too,  that  slavery,  polygamy, 
and  the  duty  of  private  murder,  as  in  Corsica,  were  parts 
of  this  eternal  covenant. 

I  fail  to  see,  with  some  modern  writers,  how  this  code  can 
be  due  to  the  epoch  of  King  Hezekiah,  although  it  may  have 
been  codified  in  his  reign.  It  seems  quite  unsuited  to  the 
reign  of  a  civilized  king,  whose  policy  made  it  necessary  for 
him  to  court  the  alliance  of  Egypt  against  Assyria.  In  this 
code  the  priest  is  absolute.  He  administers  as  well  as  makes 
1  Numb,  xxviii.  9. 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  28 1 

the  laws ;  and  taxation  is  entirely  in  his  interest.  Tithes, 
firstfruits,  exactions  of  flour,  the  weekly  and  four-monthly 
slaughter  of  beasts  all  profit  him.  He  exacts  a  ransom  for 
the  first-born  son.  The  number  of  purifications  is  excessive. 
Then  there  is  the  greedy  exaction  for  what  is  entitled  the 
"sin  through  ignorance"  (Lev.  iv.  13),  which  seems  practically 
to  have  placed  the  property  of  the  layman  in  the  hands 
of  the  priest ;  for  he  could  be  mulcted  of  "  a  young  bullock  " 
at  any  moment  for  an  offence  against  a  code  of  which,  as 
Mr.  Stanley  puts  it,  "  he  was  expected  to  be  ignorant,  as  the 
documents  were  in  the  priests'  hands."  l  It  is  scarcely  to 
be  thought,  too,  that  the  puerile  laws  about  stoning  oxen, 
slaughtering  a  perfumer  who  made  a  smell  like  the  temple 
smells,  putting  to  death  the  man  who  ate  fat  and  blood  in 
his  meat,  could  be  due  to  a  king  as  civilized  as  Hezekiah. 
I  think  even  a  brief  sketch  like  this  shows  what  a  tremendous 
undertaking  it  would  have  been  to  carry  the  Nazarites  bodily 
into  the  fold  of  Caiaphas. 

For  without  doubt  Mosaism  and  Christianity  are  pure 
antagonisms  ;  and  Renan  is  right  in  giving  to  Marcion  the 
credit  of  first  emphasizing  this  fact.  The  one  held  that  the 
spiritual  world  was  the  only  real  world,  and  that  the  seen 
world  was  a  mere  dream  and  hint  of  it.  The  other,  as  inter 
preted  by  the  dominant  party,  held  that  the  seen  world  was 
the  only  real  world,  and  that  the  unseen  world  was  visionary. 
The  God  of  Mosaism  was  the  God  of  a  small  tribe,  with 
the  prejudices  of  a  small  tribe  against  the  rest  of  mankind. 
The  God  of  the  Christians  had  for  motto,  "One  Fold 
under  One  Shepherd."  The  rewards  promised  to  good 
deeds  by  the  God  of  the  Jews  took  the  form  of  matter. 
The  active  merchants  who  in  Christ's  day  were  already 
the  great  traffickers  of  the  world  were  promised  grain 
and  shekels  as  a  recompense  for  ritual  obedience.  Their 
favourite  text  promised  a  full  basket  and  store  (Deut.  xxviii. 
5).  The  Christians,  on  the  other  hand,  asserted  that  all  the 
grain  and  shekels  of  the  world  could  not  secure  moral  happi 
ness.  This  hinged  on  the  absence,  not  the  presence,  of 
1  "The  Religion  of  the  Future,"  p.  285. 


282  BUDDHISM  IN   CHRISTENDOM. 

shekels.  In  short,  one  was  the  religion  of  the  spiritual  world, 
and  it  enjoined  communion  with  that  world  as  the  highest 
duty  of  man.  The  other  was  the  religion  of  the  seen  world, 
and  it  pronounced  such  intercourse  a  capital  offence.  A 
leading  thought  of  one  was  to  spread  brotherly  love  through 
the  wide  world.  With  the  other,  God's  blessings  would  have 
lost  all  savour  if  he  thought  that  they  were  enjoyed  outside 
Palestine.  The  one  was  the  religion  of  the  individual  with 
conscience  for  high  priest,  the  other  was  religion  by  body 
corporate  with  conscience  suppressed. 

One  argument  of  Bishop  Lightfoot  I  had  nearly  forgotten, 
although  perhaps  it  is  too  purely  theological  for  these  pages. 
He  relies  on  the  alleged  fact  that  an  advanced  Christology 
distinguished  the  earliest  religious  thought  of  the  Church  of 
Jerusalem,  which  the  "  heretics "  altered.  But  is  there  any 
evidence  of  this  advanced  Christology  at  an  early  date  ? 
German  scholars  say,  No  !  Jerusalem  had  the  earliest  Gospel, 
the  original  of  the  Synoptics,  and  in  it  Christ  utters  the  cry 
of  abandonment  on  the  cross,  fears  the  cup  of  agony,  receives 
the  Holy  Spirit  at  baptism,  "grew  and  waxed  strong  in 
spirit "  (Luke  ii.  40),  which  two  last  facts  scarcely  bear  out 
the  theory  that  the  original  writer  of  the  Gospel  held  the 
notions  of  many  modern  pulpits  that  Jesus  was  the  Ruler 
of  Heaven,  that  had  for  a  time  abrogated  His  omnipresence, 
but  not  His  omniscience. 

Recently  a  valuable  light  has  been  thrown  on  this  question 
by  the  discovery  of  a  very  early  Christian  book,  the  "  Teaching 
of  the  Apostles."  In  it  Christ  is  only  mentioned  once,  and 
that  as  "Jesus  Thy  Servant.  The  Saturday  Review  of  July 
19,  1884,  speaks  thus  of  it — 

"  The  importance  of  such  a  work  as  this,  exhibiting  to  us 
in  such  plain,  unvarnished  fashion  a  portion  of  the  Christian 
Church  in  its  earliest  development,  as  we  have  said,  can  hardly 
be  exaggerated.  Its  value  is  enhanced  by  the  unexpected 
and,  we  may  almost  say,  the  startling  character  of  the  picture. 
The  authenticity  of  the  work  is  guaranteed  by  its  complete 
unlikeness  to  anything  which  any  one  forging  a  document  for 
party  purposes — doctrinal  or  ecclesiastical — would  have  con- 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  283 

ceived.  The  large  additions  made  to  it  at  a  later  date  in  the 
so-called  "  Apostolical  Constitutions  "  and  in  the  "  Epitome," 
to  support  the  definitely  formed  system  of  Church  polity  and 
ritual  by  that  time  elaborated,  are  a  warrant  for  the  genuine 
ness  of  the  bare  and  cold  original,  in  which  we  look  in  vain 
for  any  trace  of  specifically  Christian  doctrine,  Christian  fer 
vour,  or  Church  organization  according  to  the  platform  univer 
sally  established  at  the  close  of  the  second  century.  Of  all 
the  books  of  the  New  Testament  it  has  the  greatest  relation 
ship  to  the  Epistle  of  St.  James.  Like  that,  it  deals  with 
moral  and  practical  subjects,  and  is  entirely  devoid  of  dog 
matic  teaching,  and  has  a  certain  Jewish  colouring,  easier, 
perhaps,  to  feel  than  to  specify.  Like  that,  too,  there  is  in  it 
a  complete  silence  as  to  the  leading  facts  of  the  Christian 
faith.  There  is  nothing  in  it  from  beginning  to  end  to  indi 
cate  that  the  compiler  had  any  acquaintance  with  the  Incar 
nation,  the  Crucifixion,  the  Resurrection,  or  the  gift  of  the 
Spirit,  and  the  bearing  of  those  great  facts  of  Redemption  on 
the  spiritual  life." 

The  critic  adds  that  the  "  Agape  "  had  not  yet  been  sepa 
rated  from  the  Lord's  Supper,  and  that  the  "cup"  signified 
not  Christ,  but  His  teaching.  Itinerant  "prophets"  figure 
conspicuously  in  the  work.  The  word  "  prophet "  was  another 
name  for  the  travelling  "  apostle." 

One  fact  must  not  be  lost  sight  of,  and  that  is  that  if  Jesus 
accepted  Mosaism  in  its  entirety,  it  follows  that  the  rites  and 
philosophy  of  Jesus  and  His  apostles  were  diametrically 
opposed  to  the  rites  and  philosophy  that  were  accepted  as 
Christianity  about  the  end  of  the  first  century.  Writers  like 
Renan  and  Bishop  Lightfoot  deny  this  conclusion  ;  but  Gibbon 
has  pressed  it  home  with  all  the  emphasis  of  his  most  brilliant 
irony.  If  on  the  other  hand  Christ  was  an  Essene,  the  theory 
of  Baur,  that  St.  Paul  invented  Christianity,  falls  to  the  ground. 
For  the  question  at  once  suggests  itself,  Why  did  St.  Paul  use 
the  name  of  Jesus  at  all  ?  Why  did  he  not  put  himself  for 
ward  as  leader  of  the  movement  ?  The  answer  is  plain  enough. 
By  the  sect  of  the  Nazarenes  one  conspicuous  leader  was 
already  accepted.  An  historical  character,  sublime  beyond  all 


284  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

previous  Western  experience  had  appeared  in  the  world.  He 
had  given  it  laws  and  rites,  and  newer  and  grander  concep 
tions  of  life.  He  had  told  the  Hebrew  that  forgiveness  was 
more  noble  than  retaliation,  poverty  than  riches,  the  ignominy 
of  the  gibbet  in  the  cause  of  enlightenment  than  crowns  of 
gold.  He  had  announced  to  the  death-dealing  zealot  that 
even  in  the  presence  of  outrage  and  treachery  it  was  better 
to  sheathe  than  to  draw  the  sword.  He  had  taught  that  to 
perform  such  menial  offices  as  feet-washing  was  more  God 
like  than  to  accept  them. 

Renan  opposes  Baur  on  the  question  of  the  origin  of 
Christianity ;  but  even  he  is  of  opinion  that  it  is  St.  Paul  who 
has  "  assured  an  eternity  "  to  Christ.  Without  him  the  "  little 
conventicle  of  illuminati "  would  have  passed  away  like  the 
Essenes,  almost  unremembered.1  This  depends  upon  the 
question  whether  Christ's  religion  was  an  education  or  a 
recruiting  office.  The  scheme  of  Jesus  was  to  slowly  leaven 
the  world  by  means  of  a  secret  society  of  mystics  rigorously 
winnowed  by  beggary,  celibacy,  hunger,  and  persecution. 
Have  such  little  "  conventicles  of  illuminati "  been  always  so 
contemptible  ?  Was  Buddha  insignificant  when  he  stood 
with  his  sixty  disciples  at  Mrigadiva,  and  the  proud  priest 
hoods  of  Asia  were  already  to  the  divine  eye  a  thing  of  the 
past  ?  Was  Wieshaupt  contemptible  when  he  and  the  other 
members  of  the  "  family  of  the  human  race "  brooded  over 
the  wings  of  society,  and  were  in  travail  of  the  convulsion 
by-and-by  to  be  christened  "  French  Revolution "  ?  Was 
Madame  Guyon  despicable  in  her  dungeon,  or  George  Fox, 
or  Swedenborg,  or  any  other  recipient  of  spiritual  forces  that 
change  empires  ?  Certainly  the  sublimest  spectacle  of  history, 
if  uExegists"  and  "Apologists"  would  allow  us  to  see  it, 
is  the  historical  Jesus  standing  amid  the  grey  limestone  hills 
of  Palestine  and  planning  the  greatest  battle  of  the  world. 
In  one  army  were  a  few  beggars — naked,  shoeless,  with  no 
shelter  but  the  caves  of  the  "  foxes,"  no  protector  except  the 
mephitic  air  that  depopulates  the  shores  of  the  Dead  Sea. 
In  the  other  army  were  the  invincible  legions  of  Caesar. 
1  "Les  Apotres,"  p.  187. 


BISHOP  LIGHTFOOT.  285 

Their  weapons  were  death,  stripes,  torture,  and  obloquy.  To 
these  were  opposed  patience,  long-suffering,  courage,  martyr 
dom,  by  a  Captain  who  was  determined  that  the  warfare 
should  be  waged  by  spirit  forces  alone. 

Modern  bishops  and  duchesses  masquerading  in  Christian 
communism  and  beggary  may  lament  its  present  want  of 
influence.  They  know  quite  well  that  if  the  genuine  Chris 
tianity  were  revived  it  would  tear  the  shams  of  modern  society 
to  pieces. 


286  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER  XXL 

Pope  Victor— Rome  supersedes  Jerusalem— The  Introduction  of  Religion 
by  Body-Corporate — Marcion — He  represented  the  teaching  of  St. 
Paul — His  Gospel — Accused  and  Accusers  changing  places — Testi 
mony  of  Marcion  against  Roman  innovators. 

POPE  VICTOR. 

AT  the  close  of  the  second  century  of  the  Christian  era  a 
fierce  controversy  raged  in  Christendom.  The  East  was 
pitted  against  the  West.  On  the  surface  this  controversy 
pivoted  on  a  very  petty  matter  ;  which  was,  however,  merely 
used  in  the  light  of  a  flag  or  party  badge.  The  question  was 
whether  Christ  was  crucified  on  the  day  or  the  day  before  the 
Passover.  Pope  Victor  summoned  a  council  and  threatened  to 
excommunicate  all  the  churches  of  Asia  Minor  who  accepted 
the  gospel  account  and  the  early  church  traditions.  It  is 
plain  that  a  revolution  in  leadership  had  been  effected  in 
Christendom  since  St.  James,  as  Christian  high  priest,  received 
tribute  from  the  other  churches. 

Many  influences  had  been  at  work.  At  first  the  Church 
of  Jerusalem  was  recognized  as  the  leading  church  of  Christen 
dom.  But  the  capture  of  Jerusalem  by  Titus  deprived  it  of 
its  commanding  position.  All  Christians  were  banished  from 
the  holy  city.  The  church  of  the  Nazarenes  took  refuge  in 
Pella  beyond  Jordan.  From  that  point  it  still  asserted  its 
claim  to  be  the  leading  church  in  Christendom,  but  its  influence 
waned. 

Whilst  the  Church  of  Jerusalem  was  thus  on  the  decline  it 
was  in  the  necessity  of  things  that  another  church  should 
rapidly  gain  influence,  Rome  was  the  centre  of  the  political 


MARCION.  287 

world  ;  and  the  rapid  progress  of  the  new  creed  by-and-by 
rendered  possible  the  dream  of  a  Christian  Pontifix  Maximus. 
But  across  such  dreams  many  pregnant  questions  would  crowd. 
Were  the  institutions  of  the  humble  Ebionites  with  their 
communism,  their  celibacy,  their  uncomprising  unworldliness, 
a  form  of  religion  fit  for  a  great  empire  ?  Would  the  rich 
Roman  patrician  consent  to  a  community  of  goods  with  the 
Roman  beggar  ?  Would  the  proconsul  tolerate  an  allegiance 
that  superseded  allegiance  to  the  civil  power  ?  Were  the 
fastings  and  solitary  communings  of  St.  Antony  and  St. 
Jerome  a  fit  form  of  religion  for  the  humble  artisans  of  a 
work-a-day  world  ?  Could  women  and  children  and  men  of 
weak  intellect  be  safely  permitted  to  trust  alone  to  the  God 
within  the  breast?  The  Christian  religion  had  proved  itself 
an  irresistible  missionary  force.  But  was  it  not  more  adapted 
for  battle  than  peace  ?  The  uncompromising  Nazarite  could 
grind  into  small  pieces  all  priestly  and  pagan  creeds,  but  did 
he  present  a  suitable  substitute  ? 

I  do  not  think  that  this  despiritualizing  of  Christianity 
was  due  to  conscious  priestcraft  in  the  first  instance,  but 
rather  to  the  force  of  circumstances.  The  fall  of  Jerusalem 
had  far-reaching  and  indirect  effects,  not  all  of  which  are 
fully  appreciated.  Christianity  was  specially  a  Jewish  religion 
worked  by  Jews.  This  was  a  source  of  strength,  for  it  was 
thus  kept  outside  the  vigilance  of  the  imperial  inquisitors. 
All  the  early  persecutions  came  from  Jews  alone.  These 
were  bitter  in  Jerusalem,  but  outside  Palestine  the  Jews  had 
less  power.  This  enabled  the  barefooted  missionaries  to 
overrun  Europe  before  the  priests  of  paganism  knew  their 
danger.  In  the  presence  of  the  pertinacity  of  Jewish  hate 
the  poor  Nazarite  showed  an  equal  pertinacity  of  passive 
endurance  ;  but  it  was  natural  that  endeavours  should  be 
made  to  conciliate  his  great  enemy.  But  until  the  fall  of 
Jerusalem  the  arguments  of  the  Nazarite  were  not  likely  to 
have  much  effect  on  an  educated  Hebrew.  Such  a  man,  if 
told  that  the  execution  of  Christ  by  the  Sanhedrim  was  a 
complete  substitute  for  the  ceremonies  and  sacrifices  instituted 
with  painstaking  minuteness  by  Jehovah  Himself,  would  have 


288  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

hailed  the  statement  as  an  unmeaning  quibble.  He  would 
have  pointed  out  that  these  ordinances  were  pronounced  to  be 
of  eternal  duration,  and  to  criticise  them  was  more  culpable 
even  than  to  disobey  them. 

But  when  Titus  put  an  end  for  ever  to  the  Jewish  rites 
of  the  temple,  the  poor  Nazarite  would  have  more  chance  of  a 
hearing.  Plainly  the  rites  of  Moses  had  not  proved  eternal  ; 
that  was  a  bewildering  fact.  But  to  convert  a  Jew  to  Chris 
tianity  peculiar  arguments  were  necessary.  His  main  postu 
late  was  that  God  could  be  only  propitiated  by  the  shedding 
of  blood.  Hence  the  prominence  that  Christ's  death  began 
to  assume  in  Christian  polemics.  In  the  earliest  writings 
crept  in  the  trope  that  Christ  by  His  death  had  made  a 
perpetual  propitiation.  This  was  at  first  only  put  forth  as  a 
trope  ;  but  it  contained  a  great  danger  to  the  religion  of 
interior  gnosis.  By  it  could  be  brought  in  once  more  the 
conception  of  remission  of  sins  by  the  daily  bloody  sacrifice 
of  the  priest.  By  it  religion  by  body  corporate  could  be 
reintroduced.  This  was  the  meaning  of  the  immense  excite 
ment  in  the  eastern  churches  when  Pope  Victor  proposed  to 
change  the  day  for  celebrating  Christ's  death  to  the  day  of 
the  Passover.  By  the  change  Christ  was  made  the  Paschal 
Lamb. 

But  another  great  danger  had  come  upon  Christendom. 
The  early  church  took  over  from  the  Essenes  the  Jewish 
scriptures,  read  with  Essene  interpretations.  Under  the  title 
of  "  the  law  and  the  prophets  "  they  figure  in  the  writings  of 
the  fathers,  and  were,  in  fact,  the  only  writings  deemed  inspired 
until  the  end  of  the  second  century.  When  all  Christians 
were  mystics  there  was  little  danger  in  this  ;  but  when  the 
lower  Judaism  was  being  largely  recruited,  matters  changed. 
The  peril  of  having,  as  it  were,  two  bibles  bound  up  in  the 
same  cover,  began  to  assert  itself.  With  commonplace  minds, 
like  that  of  Irenaeus,  the  lower  and  literal  reading  began  to 
swamp  the  spiritual  meaning  altogether.  The  more  spiritual 
teachers  in  Christendom  perceived  this  peril. 

The  real  leader  of  this   opposition  was  plainly  Marcion. 
For  this  the  vials  of  theological  wrath  have  been  poured  upon 


MARC  ION.  289 

him  from  the  date  of  Irenaeus  to  modern  times.  His  answers 
have  been  burnt,  but  even  without  them  accusers  and  accused 
have  now  changed  places  in  the  dock  and  the  witness-box. 
Marcion  represented  what  in  modern  days  are  called  the 
Ethnico  Christians,  the  party  that,  under  the  banner  of  St. 
Paul,  had  been  so  conspicuous  in  the  previous  century. 
Marcion  had  nearly  half  Christendom  at  his  back,  hence  the 
bitterness  of  the  Roman  monks.  "  Of  churchly  organizations," 
says  the  latest  edition  of  the  "  Encyclopaedia  Britannica,"  "  the 
most  important  next  to  Catholicism  were  the  Marcionite 
communities."1  Tertullian  affirmed  that  they  swarmed  and 
increased  like  wasps :  "  Faciunt  favos  et  vespce,  faciunt 
ecclesias  et  Marcionitse."  2 

Perhaps  the  Roman  movement  was  in  the  first  instance  a 
mere  squabble  for  precedence  with  the  Nazarite  Church  in 
Jerusalem.  But  as  the  latter  became  insignificant  in  all  but 
title  deeds,  the  rising  priestly  party  turned  their  attention  to 
the  Pauline  party. 

The  Church  of  Rome,  says  Irenaeus,  was  "  organized  by 
the  two  most  glorious  apostles,  Peter  and  Paul.  For  it  is  a 
matter  of  necessity  that  every  church  should  agree  with  this 
church,  on  account  of  its  pre-eminent  authority."  3 

Perhaps  it  was  also  a  matter  of  necessity  that  the  disciples 
of  these  two  most  glorious  apostles  should  be  proved  heretical 
in  the  same  interest. 

The  disciples  of  Marcion  were  celibates  who  enjoined 
sexual  abstinence  as  the  condition  of  their  receiving  even 
the  married  in  their  fold.  They  dressed  simply,  and  fled 
theatres  and  public  spectacles.  They  ate  no  meat  except  fish, 
and  lived  on  bread,  milk,  honey,  and  water.  They  used  the 
latter  in  their  communion  service.  They  bore  great  persecu 
tion  heroically.  Their  leader  pathetically  called  them,  "  com 
panions  in  suffering,  and  companions  in  hate."  4 

It  is  to  be  observed,  also,  that  it  is  dangerous  to  take 
writers  like  Justin  or  Tertullian  as  safe  guides  in  dealing  with 

1  Article,  "  Marcion."  2  Cited  by  Gibbon,  ch.  xv. 

3  Iren.,  "  Hser.,"  bk.  iii.  ch.  3. 

4  Heim,  "  Marcion,  sa  Doctrine  et  son  Evangile,"  pp.  27,  29. 

U 


290  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  transcendental  metaphysics  of  a  rival.  The  latter  calls 
Marcion  " anti-christ,"  and  his  section  of  the  church  "scor 
pions  ; "  and  Justin  declares  that  "  *  wicked  demons '  put 
forward  Marcion  to  deny  that  God  made  all  things,"  and  also 
to  assert  the  existence  of  "  some  other  god  greater  than  the 
Creator."  Yet  he  himself  declares  that  the  "  ineffable  Father 
and  Lord  of  all  "  made  use  of  the  Logos  to  create  the  world. 
The  two  statements  seem  so  very  similar,  that  it  is  difficult  to 
understand  how,  if  one  is  an  "  atheistical  doctrine "  and  a 
doctrine  of  "  devils,"  the  other  is  not  so  likewise. 

But  the  most  prominent  charge  against  Marcion  is,  that 
he  mutilated  St.  Luke's  gospel  and  St.  Paul's  epistles,  to  make 
these  books  fit  in  with  his  heresies. 

"  Moreover,"  says  Irenaeus,  "  he  mutilated  the  Gospel 
according  to  Luke,  taking  away  all  that  is  recorded  of  the 
generation  of  the  Lord,  and  many  parts  of  his  discourses  in 
which  he  recognizes  the  Creator  of  the  universe  as  his 
Father."  l 

He  is  accused,  too,  of  attacking  the  Jewish  scriptures,  and 
prejudicing  the  three  other  canonical  gospels  by  ignoring  them. 
The  controversy  about  what  is  called  Marcion's  gospel 
has  been  renewed  with  great  vigour  recently.  Neander, 
Sanday,  Gratz,  and  Arneth,  have  supported  the  views  of 
Tertullian,  Epiphanius,  and  Jerome.  On  the  other  hand, 
Eichhorn,  Loffler,  Baur,  and  the  author  of  "Supernatural 
Religion,"  maintain  that  Marcion  can  never  have  seen  our 
version  of  St.  Luke  at  all.  Marcion's  gospel  is  the  original, 
and  the  present  Gospel  of  St.  Luke  was  composed  from  it  not 
earlier  than  the  end  of  the  second,  or  beginning  of  the  third 
century.2 

This  controversy  throws  much  side-light  on  the  subject 
I  am  investigating. 

Many  common-sense  arguments  at  once  suggest  them 
selves,  which  make  it  difficult  to  accept  the  theory  that 
Marcion  cut  about  Luke  and  Paul  for  the  reasons  put  forward 
by  Irenseus. 

1  Iren.,  bk.  i.  c.  27,  sect.  2. 

2  See  Heim,  "  Marcion,  sa  Doctrine  et  son  Evangile,"  p.  40. 


MARCION.  291 

1.  The  first  that  strikes  me  is  the  apparent  aimlessness  of 
most  of  the  alleged  omissions. 

2.  Marcion  sometimes  cuts  out  texts  that  strongly  support 
his    views.      He    leaves    a  vast  quantity    of  others  that  are 
thought  to  confute  them.    Irenaeus,  Epiphanius,  and  Tertullian 
exult  at  this,  failing  to  see  how  much  it  tells  against  them. 

"  But  because,"  says  Irenaeus,  "  he  alone  has  dared  openly 
to  mutilate  the  scriptures,  and  has  gone  beyond  all  others  in 
shamelessly  disparaging  the  character  of  God,  I  shall  oppose 
him  by  himself,  confuting  him  from  his  own  writings,  and  with 
the  help  of  God  will  effect  his  overthrow  by  means  of  those 
discourses  of  our  Lord  and  His  apostle  [St.  Paul],  which  are 
respected  by  him,  and  which  he  himself  uses."1  The  good 
monk  fails  to  perceive  that  a  very  astute  confuter  may  some 
times  "  confute  "  himself. 

3.  Many  of  the  omissions,  including  four  Pauline  epistles, 
are  pronounced  ungenuine  by  leading  modern   experts  who 
have  taken  no  part  in  the  Marcion  controversy. 

4.  If  there  have  been  any  intentional  excisions,  they  must 
be  thrown  very  much  further  back  than  Marcion,  as  Cerdon, 
the    previous    leader    of  the    Ethnico    Christians,   also    used 
a  "  mutilated  Luke."  2 

5.  Why    does    Justin    Martyr,    in    his    fierce    attack    on 
Marcion,  say  not  a  word  about  these  excisions,  and  nothing 
at  all  about  there  being  four  canonical  gospels  in  his  day  ? 
If  there  were  four  such  gospels,  he  has  disparaged  them  by 
his  silence  quite  as  much  as  Marcion. 

6.  On  the  hypothesis  that  there  then  existed  four  canonical 
gospels,    and    that    Marcion    was    the    fanciful    independent 
teacher   that    he   is    now   described,    why   did   he   not   take 
John's  gospel  instead  of  Luke's  ?     Strauss  shows  that  its  anti- 
Jewish  dualism  would  have  suited  him  perfectly. 

7.  The  alleged   falsification    of  St.   Paul's  epistles  is  still 
more  perplexing.     The  Cerdonites  and   Marcionites  had  one 
distinguishing    feature.     They   almost    worshipped    St.   Paul 
and    his    writings.      It   was    the    first    instance    of  Christian 

1  Iren.,  bk.  iii.  c.  12. 

2  Article,  "  Cerdon,"  "  Encyclopaedia  Britannica." 


292  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

bibliolatry.  Supposing  that  Marcion  had  arbitrarily  deprived 
them  of  large  portions  of  their  favourite  scripture,  would  they 
have  tamely  submitted,  or  would  they  not  have  risen  up  and 
expelled  the  despoiler  from  the  community?  The  Roman 
doctors,  using  a  favourite  polemical  weapon  of  the  day, 
accused  Marcion  of  having  been  excommunicated  for  seducing 
a  virgin  ;  but  they  have  neglected  to  explain  how  it  was  that 
the  most  spiritual  and  self-denying  half  of  Christendom 
followed  such  a  man  with  enthusiasm. 

8.  The  replies  of  the  Marcionites  have  been  burnt  with 
their  authors,  but  one  little  piece  of  evidence  has  been  pre 
served.  One  of  them,  named  Megethius,  affirmed  that  Luke's 
gospel,  in  its  present  form,  is  full  of  errors  and  self-contradic 
tions.1  We  see,  too,  from  their  bitter  adversary  Irenaeus, 
that  the  Ebionite  Church  of  Jerusalem  gave  a  similar  testi 
mony.  They  pronounced  Luke  full  of  spurious  additions. 
As  Irenseus  puts  it,  "  they  reject  the  other  words  of  the 
gospel  which  we  have  come  to  know  through  Luke  alone."  2 

The  gospel  of  Marcion  began  abruptly.  "  In  the  fifteenth 
year  of  Tiberias  Caesar,  Jesus  came  down  to  Capernaum, 
a  city  of  Galilee,  and  taught  them  on  the  sabbath  day." 
It  will  be  seen  by  this  that  it  cut  out  nearly  the  whole  of  the 
first  four  chapters  of  our  present  gospel,  the  statement  that 
the  parents  of  Jesus  went  up  to  Jerusalem  every  year  at  the 
Feast  of  the  Passover,  and  celebrated  it  with  bloody  rites. 
Irenaeus  makes  this  the  main  point  against  him  ;  but  the 
poor  "  Heresiarch  "  suddenly  finds  himself  defended  by  all 
the  learning  of  critical  Europe.  These  chapters  are  now 
generally  believed  to  have  been  added  to  the  gospel  by 
a  Greek  writer  quite  ignorant  of  Jewish  history.  He 
announces  that,  at  the  date  of  Christ's  birth,  a  decree  had 
gone  forth  from  the  Emperor  Augustus  that  the  whole  world 
should  be  taxed.  There  is  no  mention  in  history  of  any  such 
decree  ;  and  if  there  had  been,  it  would  not  have  affected 
Galilee,  which  at  this  time  was  ruled,  as  Luke  states,  by 
Herod,  an  independent  sovereign.3 

1  Heim,  "  Marcion  et  la  Doctrine,"  p.  44. 

2  Iren.,  "  H^er.,"  bk.  iii.  c.  15. 

3  Giles,  "  Hebrew  and  Christian  Records,"  vol.  ii.  p.  190. 


MARCION.  293 

But  a  graver  matter  is  behind.  The  details  about  Zacha- 
rias  and  the  birth  of  the  Baptist  have  been  shown  by  Ewald 
and  others  to  have  been  borrowed  from  the  Protevangelium 
of  James,  which  records  further  the  tragical  death  of  Zacha- 
rias.  Why  has  pseudo  Luke  omitted  this  striking  incident  ? 
Plainly  because  he  wanted  to  show  that  the  relations  of  Christ 
and  the  Baptist  sacrificed  doves  and  belonged  to  anti- 
mystical  Israel,  a  theory  which  would  be  a  little  disturbed 
by  the  fact  that  Zacharias  was  the  Zacharias  that  Christ 
announced  as  the  last  of  the  martyred  "prophets."  His 
death,  when  the  Baptist  was  a  boy,  connects  the  latter  with 
Essenism,  because  it  is  only  as  an  Essene  that  Zacharias 
could  have  been  executed. 

Perhaps  the  strongest  text  that  Marcion  could  have  found 
to  support  his  anti-Jewish  views  would  have  been  Christ's 
saying  about  the  folly  of  placing  new  wine  in  old  bottles 
(Luke  v.  37).  Will  it  be  believed  that  Marcion  is  accused  of 
having  excised  this  strong  text  ? 

In  ch.  vi.  he  is  also  supposed  to  have  cut  out  Christ's  fine 
protest  against  the  lex  talionis  of  Leviticus.  Why  should 
Marcion  have  cut  out  these  injunctions  to  love  our  enemies 
and  forgive  insult  and  violence  (vv.  27-31)?  They  quite 
proved  that  the  Saviour  was  no  supporter  of  the  Old  Testa 
ment  bibliolatry  of  Irenaeus  and  Justin. 

The  twenty-second  verse  of  ch.  x.  is  a  fine  statement  of 
transcendental  Gnosticism.  It  affirms  that  no  gnosis  of  "  the 
Father "  can  be  obtained  except  through  the  Christos,  the 
awakened  soul.  This  is  the  quintessence  of  St.  Paul's  preach 
ing.  At  a  time  that  Irenaeus  was  setting  up  the  rival  doctrine 
that  knowledge  of  God  must  come  from  without,  not  from 
within,  and  be  sought  in  "  Scriptures,"  that  is,  the  Old  Testa 
ment,  this  text,  one  would  have  thought,  would  have  been  the 
most  powerful  support  that  Marcion  could  have  found  ;  and 
yet  he  is  accused  of  tampering  with  it.1  With  Marcion, 
Christianity  was  a  growth,  an  inspiration.  On  the  other  hand, 
Irenaeus  detected  its  mysteries  in  texts  like  the  following : — 

1  See  Migne,  "  Diet,  des  Apocryphes."  I  have  also  consulted  for  this 
chapter,  Giles,  "  Codex  Apocryphus,"  Heim,  "  Marcion,"  etc.,  and  "  Super 
natural  Religion." 


294  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  And  Moses  stretched  out  his  hand  over  the  sea,  and  the 
Lord  caused  the  sea  to  go  back  by  a  strong  east  wind  all  that 
night."  Plainly  Moses,  with  outstretched  hands,  typified  the 
mysteries  of  the  cross.1 

From  ch.  xi.  49-51,  and  from  ch.  xiii.  29-35,  we  get  some 
more  inexplicable  excisions,  texts  where  Christ  condemns  the 
priest  party  for  slaughtering  apostles  and  prophets.  The 
beautiful  passage  commencing,  "  O  Jerusalem,  Jerusalem, 
which  killest  the  prophets,"  is  amongst  these.  Here  was 
quite  an  armoury  for  Marcion  to  use  against  adversaries  com 
mitted  to  the  same  sinister  pathway.  Is  it  to  be  believed 
that,  instead  of  using  these  texts,  he  excised  them  ? 

I  must  confess,  however,  that  the  complete  doctrinal  aim- 
lessness  of  many  of  the  excisions  is  the  strongest  reason,  in 
my  mind,  for  disbelieving  the  excision  theory.  The  pretty 
Buddhist  parable  of  the  prodigal  son  is  as  unknown  to 
Marcion's  gospel  as  it  is  to  Matthew,  Mark,  and  John.  The 
innocent  apologue  of  the  widow's  mite  (xxi.  1-4)  ;  the  parable 
about  the  son  sent  to  the  vineyard  (xx.  9-18)  ;  the  parable  of 
the  fig  tree  (xiii.  1-9),  form  part  of  the  alleged  excisions. 
Why,  too,  should  Marcion  (xvii.  5-10)  erase  the  thoroughly 
Pauline  teaching  that  "  faith  "  could  tear  up  a  sycamine  by 
the  roots  ?  And  certainly  the  parable  about  uppermost  seats 
(xiv.  i-u)  seems,  on  the  surface,  scarcely  so  favourable  to 
Pope  Victor  and  his  party  that  fraud  should  be  called  in 
to  suppress  it. 

In  Marcion's  gospel  Christ's  triumphal  entry  into  Jeru 
salem  and  cleansing  of  the  temple  is  not  to  be  found.  Most 
readers  will  agree  with  that  acute  divine  Dr.  Giles,  that  this 
account  is  didactic  rather  than  historical.  Dr.  Giles  says  : 
"  Let  us  picture  to  ourselves  a  single  man  entering  a  throng 
of  merchants  in  London  or  any  other  of  our  populous  cities, 
and  forcibly  ejecting  them  from  their  usual  haunts,  that  some 
hundreds  of  tradesmen  should  have  been  driven  by  the  force 
of  a  single  arm.  It  is  inconceivable  that  such  a  scene  could 
be  real.  The  guards  and  constables  of  the  city  would  have 
interposed,  even  if  the  traders  themselves  had  not  been  firm  in 
1  "Apology,"  cap.  90. 


MARC10N.  295 

defending  their  property  from  destruction.  It  is  painful  to 
imagine  such  a  scene  passing  in  reality  before  our  eyes.  We 
cannot  conceive  that  the  Son  of  God  and  Saviour  of  men 
should  create  a  tumult  in  that  temple  which  he  wished  to 
purify." ] 

In  the  Lord's  Prayer  for  "  Hallowed  be  Thy  name,"  the 
words  "  Pour  Thy  Holy  Spirit  upon  us  "  are  found.  "  How 
much  more  shall  your  heavenly  Father  give  His  Holy  Spirit 
to  them  that  ask  it,"  says  Christ  just  afterwards,  meaningless 
words  unless  Marcion's  version  is  the  correct  one.  Verbal 
changes  have  been  much  made  of  by  Marcion's  opponents. 
"  It  is  your  Father's  good  pleasure  to  give  you  the  kingdom  " 
(xii.  32)  has  been  changed  into  "  It  is  the  Father's,"  etc.  "You 
know  the  commandments  "  (xviii.  20)  figures  as  "  /  know  the 
commandments."  In  the  verse  commencing  "  Then  entered 
Satan  into  Judas  surnamed  Iscariot "  (xxii.  3),  the  word  Satan 
is  omitted,  a  strange  change  for  one  whose  philosphy  was 
dualism.  More  may  be  said  for  verse  28  in  ch.  xiii.  where 
the  words  "Ye  shall  see  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  and  all 
the  prophets  in  the  kingdom  of  God,"  have  been  changed  to 
"  all  the  just."  Marcion  apparently  perpetrated  a  grim  joke, 
if  pleasantry  were  possible  in  those  ferocious  times,  that  when 
Christ  descended  into  hell  he  released  all  except  Abel,  Enoch, 
Noah,  and  the  leading  prophets  of  the  old  law,  "  though  Cain 
and  the  Sodomites  and  the  Egyptians,"  a  were  set  free,  says 
Irenseus,  quite  as  much  shocked  by  the  last  as  the  first  state 
ment.  In  chap.  xxiv.  Marcion's  gospel  leaves  out  all  about 
Christ  expounding  the  prophets,  and  seems  to  imply  by  the 
use  of  the  word  phantasma  (ver.  39),  that  Christ's  appearance 
to  his  disciples  was  in  a  spirit  form. 

But  the  most  important  "  excisions  "  by  far  are  the  texts 
(Luke  vii.  29-35)  announcing  that  "  the  Son  of  Man  came 
eating  and  drinking  "  and  was  called  a  "  wine-bibber,"  (v.  36- 
39),  the  text  about  the  "old  wine"  being  better  (xxii.  16-18). 
These  verses  are  also  omitted,  "  For  I  say  unto  you,  I  will  not 
any  more  eat  thereof,  until  it  be  fulfilled  in  the  kingdom  of 

1  "  Hebrew  and  Christian  Records,"  ii.  p.  251. 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

God.  And  He  took  the  cup,  and  gave  thanks,  and  said,  Take 
this,  and  divide  it  among  yourselves  :  For  I  say  unto  you  I 
will  not  drink  of  the  fruit  of  the  vine,  until  the  kingdom  of 
God  shall  come." 

I  have  said  enough  elsewhere  to  show,  I  think,  that  there 
was  no  dishonesty  in  Marcion  here. 

We  now  come  to  the  epistles  of  Paul,  and  the  great  ques 
tion  is,  Supposing  that  the  Marcionites  excised  the  epistles  to 
the  Hebrews,  Titus,  and  Timothy,  whence  have  they  been 
restored  to  us?  Dr.  Giles  has  pronounced  that,  until  the 
date  of  Irenaeus,  Catholic  Christendom  knew  nothing  about 
St.  Paul's  epistles  at  all.  Of  the  literature  of  the  first  two 
centuries,  this  writer  has  been  the  most  profound  student  in 
England.  He  has  translated  the  most  important  relics  of  the 
Apostolic  Fathers  of  the  first  century,  and  brought  out  the 
-xt  of  the  Codex  Apocryphus.  In  his  "  Hebrew  and  Chris 
tian  Records,"  he  declares  that  St.  Paul's  epistles  are  "not 
mentioned  by  the  Apostolic  Fathers,  by  Justin  Martyr,  or  by 
any  other  writer  until  the  end  of  the  second  century,  when  the 
whole  canon  of  Scripture  comes  at  once  into  notice  and  is 
extensively  quoted  by  Irenaeus  and  others."  l 

Dr.  Giles  makes  an  exception  in  favour  of  three  passages 
in  the  apocryphal  epistles  of  Clement  and  Polycarp,  but  it  is 
much  doubted  he  adds,  whether  these  writings  are  genuine.2 
"  Justin  Martyr  seems  to  have  been  wholly  ignorant  that  such 
an  apostle  as  St.  Paul  ever  existed,  and  Theophilus  of  Antioch 
whilst  he  quotes  the  first  chapter  of  St.  John's  gospel,  does  not 
even  name  or  remotely  allude  to  the  great  apostle  to  whom 
Christian  religion  is  so  much  indebted,  and  who  resided  so 
often  and  so  long  in  his  own  city  of  Antioch."  3 

As  regards  Marcion,  this  silence  of  Justin  Martyr  is  of  the 
highest  importance.  If  that  writer  had  known  that  the  most 
formidable  opponent  of  Roman  ascendancy  had  suppressed 
four  epistles  of  Paul,  he  would  have  certainly  not  neglected  so 
good  a  weapon  against  him. 

Another  curious  fact  emerges.     I  think  I  can  show  that 

1  Giles  "  Hebrew  and  Christian  Records,"  vol.  ii.  p.  386 

2  Ibid.,  p.  397.  s  Ibid  ?  p  399 


MARCION.  297 

the  first  sheaf  of  arrows  that  Irenaeus  has  aimed  at  Marcion 
come  from  the  Clementine  "  Homilies."  He  says  distinctly 
that  Marcion  derived  his  system  from  Cerdo,  and  that  Cerdo 
was  taught  by  the  followers  of  Simon  Magus.1 

I  will  make  an  extract  from  the  Clementine  "Homilies" — 

Simon  Magus,  "  I  promised  to  you  to  return  to-day  and 
in  a  discussion  show  that  He  who  framed  the  world  is  not  the 
highest  God,  but  that  the  highest  God  is  another  who  alone 
is  good  and  who  has  remained  unknown  up  to  this  time."  2 

This  is  exactly  what  Irenaeus  says  in  the  first  instance  of 
Cerdo,  who  taught  that  "  the  God  proclaimed  by  the  law  and 
the  prophets  is  not  the  father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  for  the 
former  was  known  but  the  latter  unknown,  while  the  one 
also  was  righteous,  but  the  other  benevolent." 

He  says,  too,  that  Marcion  taught  that  Jesus  "  being  derived 
from  that  Father  who  is  above  the  God  that  made  the  world, 
and  coming  into  Judaea  in  the  times  of  Pontius  Pilate  the 
governor,  who  was  the  procurator  of  Tiberias  Caesar,  was 
manifested  in  the  form  of  a  man  to  those  who  were  in  Judaea, 
abolishing  the  prophets  and  the  law  and  all  the  works  of  that 
God  who  made  the  world,  whom  also  he  calls  Cosmocrater." 

Other  curious  points  of  resemblance  occur.  The  "  Homilies  " 
assert  that  Simon  Magus  does  not  believe  that  the  dead  will 
be  raised.4  Irenaeus  declares  that  Marcion  denies  the  resur 
rection  of  the  actual  body,  or,  as  he  puts  it,  "  the  body  as 
having  been  taken  from  the  earth  is  incapable  of  sharing  in 
salvation," 5  the  good  father  forgetting  that  the  "  glorious 
Apostle  Paul "  had  announced  the  same  views  :  "  It  is  sown  a 
natural  body.  It  is  raised  a  spiritual  body  "  (i  Cor.  xiv.  44). 

Then,  like  Marcion  by  Irenaeus,  Simon  Magus  was  accused 
by  St.  Peter  of  attacking  the  authority  of  the  Jewish  scrip 
tures.6  And  it  is  a  curious  fact  that  the  real  Paul  advocates 
complete  continence  (i  Cor.  vii.  I,  8),  and  rules  that  they  that 
have  wives  "be  as  though  they  had  none"  (i  Cor.  vii.  29). 
This  is  the  "  heresy  "  of  Marcion,  who  enacted  sexual  conti- 

1  Iren.,  "  Haer.,"  xxvii.  2,  2  Clem.,  "Horn.,"  xviii.  i. 

3  Iren.,  "  Hser.,"  xxvii.  2.  4  Clem.,  "  Horn.,"  ii.  22. 

5  "  Haer.,"  cap.  xxvii.  3.  6  Clem.,  "  Horn.,"  iii.  50. 


29$  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

nence  even  with  the  married.  The  theological  controversy 
seems  to  have  rolled  very  much  on  2  Cor.  iv.  4,  where  St. 
Paul  talks  of  a  "  God  of  this  world." 

All  this  is  puzzling.  Did  Irenaeus  know  that  the  sketch 
of  Simon  Magus  was  an  attack  on  St.  Paul  ?  If  he  did,  he 
has  put  himself  out  of  court  by  dishonestly  using  that  attack 
to  prove  another  guilty  of  altering  St.  Paul's  teaching.  If  he 
did  not,  he  practically  confirms  Dr.  Giles,  for  he  shows  that 
the  partisans  of  Pope  Victor  knew  very  little  about  Paul  and 
his  controversies. 

Baur,  from  internal  evidence,  saw  that  the  Epistles  to 
Timothy  were  an  attack  on  Marcion.1  Dr.  Giles  detected  that 
in  the  Epistle  to  the  Hebrews  the  "  tenour  and  tendency " 
were  quite  different  from  the  teaching  of  "the  other  less 
doubtful  of  St.  Paul's  epistles."2  Must  we  not  carry  these 
deductions  further,  and  conclude  that  it  is  to  the  Marcionites 
that  we  are  indebted  for  the  preservation  of  St  Paul's  epistles, 
and  that  the  encroaching  Church,  obliged  to  take  them  over, 
added  four  new  ones  to  destroy  their  influence. 

There  are  two  Pauls,  the  one  put  forth  by  Catholics  of  the 
type  of  St.  Vincent  de  Paul,  and  Fenelon  as  the  ideal  of 
the  Christian  ascetic.  They  cite  his  watchings,  mystic  com 
munion,  and  "  fastings,"  his  assertion  that  for  the  mystical 
life  he  would  that  all  men  were  bachelors  (i  Cor.  vii.  7). 
This  Paul  announces  that  he  was  separated  from  his  mother's 
womb,  a  phrase  which  with  John  the  Baptist  and  St.  James 
meant  vows  of  water-drinking  for  life.  This  Paul  states  also 
that  the  spiritual  drink  of  Christians  in  the  communion 
service  was  the  water  that  flowed  from  the  rock  of  Moses. 
This  Paul  strives  to  keep  his  body  under  subjection  by  the 
ordinary  processes  of  the  mystic.  He  announces  that  he  has 
the  resultant  spiritual  gifts  (i  Cor.  xii.  i).  His  motto  is, 
"  Walk  in  Sophia  !  "  the  phrase  with  mystics  for  the  interior 
life  (Col.  iv.  5). 

The  other  Paul  is  the  champion  of  anti-mystical  Angli 
canism.  Bishop  Lightfoot  puts  him  forward,  as  we  have  seen. 

1  Baur,  "  Life  and  Work  of  St.  Paul,"  vol.  ii.  p    100. 

2  "  Hebrew  and  Christian  Records,"  vol.  ii.  p.  396. 


MARCION.  299 

This  Paul  held  that  "  asceticism  postulates  the  malignity  of 
matter  and  is  wholly  inconsistent  with  the  teaching  of  the 
Gospel."  x  This  Paul  held  that  Gnosticism  was  "  false  teach 
ing,"  and  "  monstrous  developments,"  "  heresy,"  2  "  a  shadowy 
mysticism  which  loses  itself  in  the  contemplation  of  an  unseen 
world." 3  This  Paul  is  a  Paul  that  specially  cautions  his 
disciples  against  the  "gnosis  that  puffeth  up"  (i  Cor.  viii.  i)  ; 
a  Paul  singularly  solicitous  about  bishops'  wives,  though  he 
cared  so  little  for  the  bishops  themselves  ;  a  Paul  who  con 
siders  the  "stomach"  of  Timothy  before  his  soul,  and,  forgetful 
of  his  own  Nazarite  vows,  recommends  him  wine  ;  a  Paul  the 
apostle  of  eating  and  drinking,  who,  it  must  be  added,  seems 
to  have  made  singularly  little  impression  on  his  personal 
followers,  for  they  emerge  in  the  light  of  history  water- 
drinking  mystics  of  the  most  ascetic  type. 

Let  us  first  judge  St.  Paul,  not  by  his  writings,  but  his 
acts  ;  that  will  test  his  ideas.  Was  he  a  Gnostic  ? 

Professor  T.  M.  Lindsay,  in  his  article  on  Irenaeus,  in 
the  "  Encyclopaedia  Britannica,"  gives  from  that  father  the 
definition  of  true  gnosis. 

"True  gnosis,  not  the  false  gnosis  of  the  Gnostic,  comes 
from  the  Holy  Scriptures,"  meaning  those  of  the  Old  and 
New  Testament,  and  also  from  "  the  Church."  This  means  : 
Suppress  conscience  and  reason,  and  take  A  B  and  C,  three 
widely  divergent  spiritual  guides.  Also  it  is  a  mere  verbal 
quibble,  for  the  word  "  gnosis "  was  selected  by  mystics  to 
denote  not  external  but  internal  knowledge. 

For  the  early  years  of  his  life  St.  Paul  conformed  to  the 
ideal  of  Irenaeus.  It  is  difficult  to  find  in  history  a  more 
perfect  specimen  of  the  "  true  Gnostic."  He  sought  spiritual 
knowledge  in  his  Church  and  Scriptures,  two  guides  that,  in 
his  day  at  any  rate,  had  the  advantage  of  not  being  divergent, 
whatever  they  may  have  been  at  the  date  of  Irenaeus.  He 
learnt  that  the  sin  of  sins  was  independent  thought.  It  was 
clearly  laid  down  in  the  eternal  covenant  of  Jehovah  that 

1  Lightfoot,  "  Epistle  to  the  Colossians,"  p.  173. 

2  Ibid.,  "  Epistle  to  the  Philippians,"  p.  41. 

3  Ibid.,  "Epistle  to  the  Colossians,"  p.  73. 


300  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"the  priests,  the  Levites,"  were  the  sole  judges  in  matters  of 
controversy"  (Lev.  xvii.  8,  9).     It  was  as  clearly  laid  down 
that  "divination,"  consulting  with  spirits,   sabbath-breaking 
prophesying  anything  except  what  the  priests  pronounced  to 
e  true,  were  crimes  to  be  summarily  punished  with  stoning 
In  the  heart  of  Israel  was  a  body  of  men  who,  in  the  view 
"the  priests,  the  Levites,"  infringed  these  laws.     In  con 
sequence,    St.    Paul    "persecuted"    them    "unto    the   death" 
(Acts  xxii.  4).     He  "made  havock   of  the   Church,   entering 
every  house,  haling   men    and  women    committed    them    to 
prison"  (Acts  viii.  3).    But  one  day,  on  the  road  to  Damascus 
interior  vision  was  opened,  and  he  began  to  see  himself 
i  a  completely  new  light.     And  then   he   knew  that   there 
is  an   offence   even   more  hateful   than  that  of  Barabbas  on 
the   highway,  or  of  Mary  of  Magdala  bartering  her  shame 
shekels,  and  that  is  the  infamy  of  the  priestly  zealot,  who 
hunts  down  liberty  and  proscribes  conscience. 

After  this,  for  three  years  St.  Paul  was  in  Arabia,  alone 

s  remorse,  seeking  to  develop  the  Christ  within  his  soul 

This  brings   us  from   Saul  to   Paul.     Was  he  a   Gnostic 

e  Alexandrian  and  Buddhist  sense?    It  is  quite  impossible 

the  whole  history  of  Christendom  to  find  a  mystic  who 

regulated  his  life  so   purely  by  interior   light.     In   the   new 

Church  he  says  he  "conferred  not  with  flesh  and  blood"  and 

'withstood"    its    high    priest    and    its    apostles    (Gal    i'    12) 

Throughout  his  second  life  he  had  but  one  guide,  the  Christ 

of  his  mystical  reveries. 

The  great  conflict  between   St.   Paul    and    the  historical 

apostles    is,    as    German    critics    tell    us,    the   one   solid    and 

incontrovertible  fact  in  the  Christendom  of  the  first  century 

This  is  giving  to  the  Apocalypse  and  the  Epistle  to  the  Gala- 

itle  deeds  of  early  authenticity  that  most  other  books 

the  New  Testament  are  gradually  ceasing  to  be  credited 

This  controversy  pivoted  on  two  points— the  authority 

Essene  high  priest  and  his  apostles,  and  the  authority  of 

the  Jewish  scriptures  interpreted,  of   course,  in   the   Essene 

From    the   bitterness    of  the    Clementine  writings  it 

seems  that  St.  Paul  the  preacher  strongly  opposed  both  from 


MARC  JON.  301 

the  very  first.  As  Simon  Magus  he  is  made  to  point  out 
many  inconsistencies  in  the  Jewish  scriptures,  and  to  affirm 
that  they  "lead  us  astray."1  In  his  own  epistles  he  is  equally 
plain  spoken.  He  calls  the  law  "weak  and  beggarly  elements" 
(Gal.  iv.  9). 

He  talks  of  "  blotting  the  handwriting  of  ordinances  that 
were  against  us,"  of  "  nailing  "  the  law  "  to  the  cross  "  (Col.  ii. 
14).  He  talks  of  the  "curse  of  the  law"  (Gal.  iii.  13).  His 
visions  are  mercilessly  attacked  in  the  Clementine  "  Homilies." 

Now  it  certainly  seems  a  little  strange  that  this  high 
mystic  has  recently  been  made  the  great  apostle  of  what  he 
himself  calls  "  meats  for  the  belly.  Migne's  "  Dictionnaire  des 
Ascetes  "  cites  the  following  texts  to  prove  that  he  was  just 
the  reverse.  The  first  is  i  Cor.  ix.  27— 

"  And  every  man  that  striveth  for  the  mastery  is  tempe 
rate  in  all  things.  Now  they  do  it  to  obtain  a  corruptible 
crown  ;  but  we  an  incorruptible.  I  therefore  so  run,  not  as 
uncertainly  ;  so  fight  I,  not  as  one  that  beatcth  the  air :  but  I 
keep  under  my  body,  and  bring  it  into  subjection  :  lest  that 
by  any  means,  when  I  have  preached  to  others,  I  myself 
should  be  a  castaway." 

It  cites  also  Gal.  v.  4 — 

"  And  they  that  are  Christ's  have  crucified  the  flesh  with 
the  affections  and  lusts.  If  we  live  in  the  Spirit,  let  us  also 
walk  in  the  Spirit." 

And  again,  2  Cor.  vi.  4 — 

"  But  in  all  things  approving  ourselves  as  the  ministers  of 
God,  in  much  patience,  in  afflictions,  in  necessities,  in  dis 
tresses,  in  stripes,  in  imprisonments,  in  tumults,  in  labours, 
in  watchings,  in  fastings  ;  by  pureness,  by  knowledge,  by 
longsuffering,  by  kindness,  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  by  love 
unfeigned." 

The  highest  stage  of  Christian  mysticism  was  called  the 
"  perfect  man,"  a  phrase  taken  over  from  Pagan  mysteries  : 

"  Till  we  all   come  in  the  unity  of  the   faith,  and  of  the 
Gnosis  of  the  Son  of  God,  unto  the  perfect  man  "  (a?  ai/Soa 
(Ephes.  iv.  13). 

1  Clem.,  "  Horn./'  xvi.  9. 


302  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Now  concerning  spiritual  gifts,  brethren,  I  would  not 
have  you  ignorant.  Ye  know  that  ye  were  Gentiles,  carried 
away  unto  these  dumb  idols,  even  as  ye  were  led.  Where 
fore  I  give  you  to  understand,  that  no  man  speaking  by  the 
Spirit  of  God  calleth  Jesus  accursed  :  and  that  no  man  can 
say  that  Jesus  is  the  Lord,  but  by  the  Holy  Ghost.  Now 
there  are  diversities  of  gifts,  but  the  same  Spirit.  For  to  one 
is  given  by  the  Spirit  the  word  of  Sophia  ;  to  another  the 
word  of  the  Gnosis  by  the  same  Spirit.  To  another  faith  by 
the  same  Spirit ;  to  another  the  gifts  of  healing  by  the  same 
Spirit ;  to  another  the  working  of  miracles  ;  to  another  pro 
phecy  ;  to  another  discerning  of  spirits  ;  to  another  divers 
kinds  of  tongues  ;  to  another  the  interpretation  of  tongues  " 
(i  Cor.  xii.  i-io). 

This  is  the  passage  from  pseudo  Timothy  that  Baur 
thought  to  be  an  attack  on  Marcion — 

"  Now  the  Spirit  speaketh  expressly,  that  in  the  latter 
times  some  shall  depart  from  the  faith,  giving  heed  to  seduc 
ing  spirits,  and  doctrines  of  devils  ;  speaking  lies  in  hypo 
crisy  ;  having  their  conscience  seared  with  a  hot  iron  ;  for 
bidding  to  marry,  and  commanding  to  abstain  from  meats, 
which  God  hath  created  to  be  received  with  thanksgiving  of 
them  which  believe  and  know  the  truth"  (i  Tim.  iv.  1-3). 

It  must  be  said,  too,  that  Hebrews  is  a  polemical  pamphlet 
on  Pope  Victor's  side  of  the  paschal  controversy.  All  critics 
reject  it.  In  it  we  get  warm  eulogies  of  an  "  unchangeable 
priesthood "  (vii.  24)  ;  of  "  ministers  of  the  sanctuary "  (viii. 
i,  2);  the  theory  that  "without  shedding  of  blood  there 
is  no  remission"  (ix.  22);  the  theory  that  a  "testament" 
for  some  reason  or  other  must  be  sealed  in  blood — all  the 
"  beggarly  elements  "  and  "  ordinances "  which  the  real  Paul 
thought  he  had  nailed  to  the  cross.  With  pseudo  Paul,  Christ's 
death  is  important  for  its  blood  effusion.  With  Paul  the 
Gnostic  it  was  important  as  an  emblem  of  the  crucifixion  of 
the  lower  and  material  life.  Dr.  Giles  points  out  that  in  this 
epistle  there  are  more  citations  from  the  Hebrew  scriptures 
than  in  all  the  other  epistles  of  St.  Paul  put  together. 

Enough  has  been  written  to  put  the  reader  in  a  position  to 


MARCION.  303 

judge  whether  Marcion  has  curtailed  or  the  anti-Gnostic 
encroaching  Church  enlarged  the  writings  of  Luke  and  St. 
Paul.  Of  immense  importance  to  our  inquiry  is  the  key  that 
it  gives  us  to  the  principle  on  which  the  Roman  doctors  acted 
in  dealing  with  the  scriptures  of  opposing  Churches.  They 
took  them  over  and  added  contradictory  matter. 

To  sum  up  :  is  there  any  evidence  for  the  two  root-and- 
branch  revolutions  on  which  modern  ideas  are  based  ?  Can 
it  be  proved  that  Christ  abandoned  the  baptism  of  John  for 
wine  and  eating,  and  for  every  tittle  of  the  law  of  sacrifices, 
slavery,  polygamy,  Corsican  vendetta  ?  Can  it  be  shown  that 
between  33  A.D.  and  62  A.u.  there  was  a  period  of  nunless, 
monkless,  Anglican  orthodoxy  before  the  "  heresy "  of  the 
"  Essene-Ebionites  "  ?  All  evidence  is  in  the  contrary  direc 
tion.  Christ  plainly  knew  nothing  of  the  first  revolution  two 
or  three  days  before  His  death,  for  He  based  His  miracles 
on  the  baptism  of  John  instead  of  repudiating  it.  St.  James, 
His  successor,  knew  nothing  of  the  movement,  for  he  was 
a  water-drinking  ascetic  to  the  day  of  his  death ;  and 
moreover  celebrated  Essene  sacramental  rites  with  the  risen 
Christ  on  the  day  of  the  crucifixion.  St.  Peter,  St.  Matthew, 
St.  James  the  son  Zebedee,  were  also  ascetics,  and  so  was 
St.  John,  who  has  given  us  the  earliest  document  of  the 
historical  Church,  the  Apocalypse.  In  it  is  a  picture  of 
Christ's  kingdom  on  earth,  with  its  virgin  saints,  and,  for 
drink,  "the  water  of  life"  (Rev.  xxi.  17);  with  its  com 
munism,  its  baptism,  its  fastings,  the  "  monastery  without  iron 
gates "  of  Renan.  Rites  are  crucial,  and  the  early  Church 
adopted  those  of  the  Essenes.  And  to  the  vigorous  rancour 
of  Irenseus  and  his  companions  we  are  indebted  for  another 
authentic  piece  of  history,  namely,  the  rites  of  the  two  great 
antagonists  of  the  first  century,  the  Pauline  and  the  Petrine 
parties,  as  they  appear  in  the  middle  of  the  second  century. 
Both  emerge  water-drinking  mystics  of  the  most  ascetic  type. 
Facts  are  before  forged  documents. 


304  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER   XXII. 

Rama — The  "  Grove  of  Perfection" — Early  Brahmin  Rites— Bow-shoot 
ing — Marriage  of  Rama — Palace  Intrigues — Banished  to  the  Forest 
—Rape  of  Sita — Hanuman— Passage  of  Adam's  Bridge  by  Monkeys 
— Fight  between  Rama  and  Ravana. 

BEFORE  BUDDHA. 

I  PROPOSE  to  give  the  lives  of  Rama,  Ceres,  Osiris,  Krishna, 
and  the  five  sons  of  Pandu.     Considered  together  they  will 

show — 

1.  That  the  chief  ancient  scriptures  represented  the  mys 
teries.     These,   under  the   symbolism   of  the  growth   of  the 
people's  food,  represented  the  twelve  stages  of  the  soul's  pro 
gress   in   interior   knowledge,   the   one   important   "mystery" 
that  man  can  learn.     This  progress  was  veiled  by  the  scaffold 
ing  of  the  ecliptic. 

2.  They  will  show  further  that  the  story  of  Buddha  has 
not,  as   Mr.   Kellog   and    his   many  followers   imagine,  been 
stolen  from  the  Nestorian  Christians.     The  ideas  of  a  divine 
child  born  of  spirit  and  an  earthly  mother  is  common  to  all 
these  stories.     I   shall   begin  with  the  story  of  Rama,  which 
was   certainly  written  before   that  of  Buddha  ;   indeed,  some 
writers  have  traced   the  rape   of    Helen   and   the  battles   of 
Achilles,  Ulysses,  etc.,  to  its  inspiration.1    Colebrooke  believed 
that  the  narrative  of  Buddha's  life  was  largely  derived  from 
the  story  of  Rama.     I  shall  treat  this  in  consequence  at  some 
length. 

1  Dr.  Hutchinson's  "  Literary  Works,"  p.  298. 


RAMA.  305 


THE  AVATARA  OF  RAMA. 

In  the  autumn  of  the  year  1854,  when  serving  in  India, 
I  was  sent  on  my  first  detachment  duty.  Lieut.  Turnbull 
commanded  the  party.  We  left  the  military  station  of 
Dinapore,  crossed  the  Sone  river,  and  encamped  in  the  exten 
sive  thicket  of  trees  through  which  the  road  to  the  civil 
station  of  Arrah  passes.  We  were  the  only  English  officers, 
and  we  occupied  the  same  tent.  We  reviled  our  sad  fates, 
I  recollect,  at  having  to  serve  in  India  when  the  epoch  of 
romance  and  adventure  had  closed.  In  three  years,  poor 
Lieut.  Turnbull  was  lying  in  the  terrible  well  that  served 
as  a  cemetery  to  the  ill-fated  garrison  of  Cawnpore.  And  the 
thicket  of  trees  where  our  camp-kettles  simmered  was  fated 
at  the  same  moment  to  be  red  with  the  blood  of  a  gallant 
British  force,  which  had  attempted  to  relieve  my  friend 
Mr.  Wake  at  Arrah.  Vincent  Eyre  was  then  to  reach  the 
same  thickets  and  fight  his  gallant  fight  with  Koer  Singh  and 
the  sepoys.  And,  eventually,  I  myself,  whilst  serving  with 
the  little  column  of  Lord  Mark  Kerr,  had  the  honour  of 
taking  part  in  another  severe  action  against  these  my  old 
Dinapore  comrades,  when  Lord  Mark  Kerr  defeated  Koer 
Singh  at  Azimgurh.  The  poor  torn  colours  of  the  I3th  Light 
Infantry  were  exposed  to  a  fire  on  that  day,  according  to  the 
Duke  of  Edinburgh,  such  as  few  other  English  regiments  have 
ever  witnessed. 

These  thickets  of  Arrah,  in  ancient  days,  were  the  scene  of 
the  first  exploit  of  the  god  Rama,  when  he  visited  earth. 
Here  was  the  "  Grove  of  Perfection,"  tenanted  by  holy 
anchorites.  Here  he  conquered  the  ferocious  demon  Marichi. 
The  word  Rama  represented  to  our  sepoys  very  much  what 
the  word  Christ  did  to  us.  Writers  in  England  who  announce 
that  the  Indians  ignore  what  they  call  the  higher  truths  of 
Christianity,  namely,  trust  in  a  personal  god  made  man,  make 
a  great  mistake.  Every  Hindoo  sepoy  in  our  detachment 
believed  that  if  he  died  with  the  name  of  Rama  on  his  lips, 
he  would  go  to  Swarga.  His  scriptures  and  his  miracles  are 

x 


306  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

as  much  a  matter  of  fact  to  them  as  Christ's  miracles  to  their 
English  officers. 

Our  tents  shone  out  against  the  dark  trees  ;  horses  neighed, 
and  the  water-carriers  brought  swollen  skins   from  a  neigh 
bouring  spring ;  belts  and  cartouche-boxes  were  slung  on  the 
branches.     The  silent  elephants,  who  had  carried  the  tents  of 
the  sepoys,  glided  away  with  their  keepers  to  bring  in  spoils 
of  branches  and  leaves.     Anon  the  loud  conch  of  some  high- 
caste  Rajput  sepoy  was  heard  as  he  fortified  a  poor  little  altar 
of  mud  or  dust  against  the  spirits  of  evil,  with  an  invocation 
to   Rama,  as   a   preparation    for   cooking  and  dinner.     And 
through  the  night  went  up  the  not  unmelodious  nasal  chant 
of  a   Brahmin,   who    narrated    the    conquest    of  the    mighty 
demon  Marichi,  who,  some  hundred  years  before  the  siege  of 
Troy,  marred   the    pious    cultus   of  a  congregation  of  rishis 
assembled  in  this  "  Grove  of  Perfection,"  and  how  the  shaft  of 
the  intrepid  young  Rama  laid  him  low.     What  the  psalms  of 
David  were  to  the  old  Jew  and  the  English  Ironside,  that  are 
still  the  warlike  speeches  of  the  Ramayana  to  the  Hindoo.    For 
at  least  three  thousand  years  they  have  incited  him  to  battle. 
The  birth  of  Rama  was  miraculous.      At  a  great  horse 
sacrifice  a  spirit  appeared  and  gave  a   magic   nectar,  which 
his  mother,  Queen  Kausalya,  drank.     Thus  his  father,  King 
Dasaratha,   had    nothing    really  to    do   with    his    parentage. 
Three  other  queens  grew  pregnant  with  smaller  portions  of 
this  magic  liquor  distilled  from  the  roasted  horse,  a  symbol 
of  the  dying  year. 

The  demon  Marichi  was  interfering  with  the  rites  of  the 
Brahmin  rishis.  What  were  those  rites  ?  From  the  date  of 
Rama  to  the  date  of  Earl  Dufferin  the  Brahmin  rites  have 
scarcely  altered. 

The  savage  believed,  like  the  Christian  Fathers,  that  the 
earth  was  an  enormous  flat  plain,  rich  with  grain  and  cattle 
for  food.  He  believed  the  cold  stars,  the  homes  of  his  dead 
forefathers,  to  be  comparatively  tiny  and  destitute  of  food. 
Hence  arose  the  sacrifice,  a  bond  fide  feeding  of  ancestors  and 
gods.  Three  meals  were  offered  in  Vedic  days,  and  are  still 
offered  every  day — at  matins,  noontide,  and  evensong.  Gar- 


RAMA,  307 

lands  and  incense  form  part  of  the  rites, — processions,  lights, 
vestments.  Chant  and  response  are  provided  for  as  early  as 
the  hymns  of  the  "  Rig  Veda."  It  was  thus  quite  unnecessary 
for  the  Buddhists  to  derive  their  rites,  as  Mr.  Kellogg  holds, 
from  the  Nestorian  Christians.  Food,  from  an  early  date,  was 
taken  as  a  symbol  of  God  Almighty,  rice,  and  milk,  and 
barley,  and  the  intoxicating  soma. 

Considerable  light  is  thrown  on  the  early  Indian  worship 
by  some  papers  by  Dr.  Stevenson  that  appeared  in  the 
Asiatic  Journal.1  In  the  Dekhan  and  in  the  Maratha 
country,  a  simple  worship  still  prevails  which  he  believes  to 
have  been  the  original  worship  of  the  Hindoos.  The  "  Great 
Spirit "  (Vetal)  has  no  statue,  and  the  gods  are  never  repre 
sented  as  animals.  "  The  place  where  Vetal  is  worshipped  is 
a  kind  of  Stonehenge,  or  enclosure  of  stones,  usually  in  some 
what  of  a  circular  shape.  The  following  is  the  plan  after  which 
these  circles  are  constructed.  At  some  distance  from  the 
village,  under  a  green  spreading  tree,  is  placed  Vetal.  If,  as 
sometimes  happens  in  a  bare  country  like  the  Dekhan,  no  tree 
at  a  convenient  distance  is  to  be  found,  Vetal  is  content  to 
raise  his  naked  head  under  the  canopy  of  heaven,  without  the 
slightest  artificial  covering  whatever.  The  principal  figure 
where  the  worship  of  Vetal  is  performed  is  a  rough  unhewn 
stone  of  a  pyramidal  or  triangular  shape,  placed  on  its  base, 
and  having  one  of  its  sides  fronting  the  east,  and,  if  under 
a  tree,  placed  to  the  east  side  of  the  tree.  A  circle  is  formed 
with  similar,  but  smaller,  stones  placed  one  or  two  feet  from 
each  other.  The  number  of  stones  varies,  but  I  have  gene 
rally  found  them  about  twelve,  or  multiples  of  twelve." 2 

This  number  twelve  represents,  says  the  doctor,  the  twelve 
Adityas,  the  sons  of  Aditi  the  great  mother,  the  twelve  Dii 
Majorum  Gentium  of  the  Romans,  the  "different  manifestations 
of  the  sun  in  his  passage  through  the  ecliptic."  The  stones 
are  rudely  fashioned  like  flames,  with  red  paint  at  the  base 
and  a  white  spire.  Fire-worship  is  evidently  the  leading  idea. 
In  the  full  moon  of  Ashvini  a  tree  is  planted  and  worshipped 
under  the  title  of  the  Holi  goddess. 

1  Vol.  v.  pp.  189,  et  seq.  2  Page  193. 


308  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  same  volume  of  the  Asiatic  Journal  gives  from  Ceylon 
a  "round  plan  and  sketch  of  some  of  these  monoliths  found  in 
deep  jungle  by  Mr.  Simon  Chitty.     He  affirms  them  to  be 
a  portion  of  the  ancient  city  of  Tamana  Nuwera  or  Tamba- 
panni,  founded  by  the  first  king  of  Ceylon  543  B.C.     To  come 
upon  a  dead  city  choked  with  the  rich  growth  of  an  Indian 
jungle  and  to  see  its  dead  gods  strangled  in  ferns  and  parasite 
figs,   whilst   through   the    fine   gothic   tracery   of    pandanus 
bouo-hs  and  those  of  the  Indian  fig  the  slanting  sun  spark] 
must   have  been   a  solemn   sight.      Behar   is  the  garden  of 
India  and  some  such  splendid  leafy  cathedral  was  no  doubt 
in  existence  in  this  "Grove  of  Perfection,"  when  the  young 
Rama  came  to  this  spot. 

Not  far  from  Arrah  and  the  military  station  of 
is  the  district  of  Tirhoot,  famous  for  pig-sticking  and  hospitable 
indigo  planters.     The  latter  used  to  entertain  our  officers, 
appears   that  in  the  ancient  days  a  king  named   Janaka  was 
monarch  of  Mithila,  its  chief  city.     This  monarch  possessec 
two  rareties,  a  daughter  whose  beauty  was  quite  unrivalled, 
and  a  bow  that  no  one  could  bend.     The  history  of  the  bow 
was  a  little  remarkable.     A  great  sacrifice  was  once  mst 
and  all  the  gods  were  bidden  except  Rudra.     This  made  him 
as  angry  as  the  fairy  in  the  tale  of  the  sleeping  beauty;   and 
he  came,  uninvited,  and  shot  terrible  shafts  at  all  the  divine 


guests. 


"  Because  you  have  not  given  me  my  share  of  the  sacri 
fice  "  he  cried,  «  I  will  slaughter  you  all."     The  terrified  gods 
prayed   for  mercy,  and    Rudra   relented.     His    mighty   bow 
became  an  heirloom  in  the  family  of  King  Janaka  of  Tirhut. 
Many  kings  desired  the  beautiful   Sfta  in  marriage,  but  King 
Janaka  gave  the  same  answer  to  all,  "My  daughter  is  the 
prize  of  the  strongest.      Try  and  bend  the  bow  of  Rudra  ! 
Each  monarch  did  try,  and  each  monarch  failed.     When  the 
two  young  princes  left  the  Grove  of  Perfection  they  crossed 
the  Ganges  and  came  at  length  to  a  large  encampment  where 
King  Janaka  was  celebrating  a  great  religious  festival. 
Rama  heard  of  the  bow  and  the  beautiful  princess.     Mithila 
is  the  modern  Janakpur. 


RAMA.  309 

It  was  suggested  by  Viswamitra,  his  guru,  that  his  young 
pupil  should  try  his  prowess.  The  king  immediately  sent 
for  the  bow.  It  reposed  in  an  iron  case.  Eight  hundred 
athletes  and  eight  wheels  were  required  to  bring  it  along. 

"This,"  said  the  king  to  Rama,  "is  the  Shining  Bow. 
Many  kings  have  tried,  but  all  have  failed  even  to  lift  it. 
I  have  ordered  it  hither,  young  prince,  according  to  your  wish. 
Who  can  hope  to  string  it  and  shoot  with  it ! " 

Buoyed  up  by  the  wise  Viswamitra,  the  young  sun-god 
opened  the  iron  case,  A  breathless  crowd  looked  on.  Rama 
took  up  the  bow  and  fixed  a  string  to  it.  He  adjusted  an 
arrow,  and  using  all  his  force  he  bent  the  mighty  weapon. 
It  snapped  with  a  terrible  uproar.  The  spectators  fell  to  the 
ground  stunned.  It  seemed  as  if  the  thunder-clap  of  Indra 
was  reverberating  amongst  a  thousand  hills.  The  king  was 
astonished. 

"  Venerable  prophet,"  he  said  to  Viswamitra, "  I  have  heard 
of  the  brave  young  Rama.  But  what  he  has  now  done 
transcends  mortal  strength.  I  have  promised  my  daughter 
Sita  as  a  prize  to  the  strongest.  With  her  let  him  raise  up  a 
mighty  race  to  be  called  the  "  Sons  of  Janaka." 

Swift  messengers  were  sent  to  King  Dasaratha  to  tell  him 
of  Rama's  luck. 

King  Dasaratha  came  to  the  wedding  accompanied  by  his 
two  younger  sons.  It  was  arranged  that  the  marriage  should 
be  quadruple,  a  necessity  in  the  presence  of  a  quadruple  sun- 
god.  A  sister  of  Sita  was  given  to  Lakshmana,  and  two 
nieces  of  Janaka  were  betrothed  to  the  other  brothers.  The 
meaning  of  the  four  brothers  is  unfolded  in  this  part  of  the 
great  epic.  It  is  distinctly  confessed  that  the  four  brothers 
are  like  the  guardians  of  the  four  points  of  space.1  It  is 
plainly  stated  also  in  another  passage  that  the  "  four 
sons  born  of  one  body  are  like  the  four  arms  of  Vishnu,"2 
another  presentment  of  the  same  idea.  A  gift  of  cows  was  a 
leading  feature  of  an  early  Aryan  marriage.  Pompous  rites 

1  "  Simili  ai  quattro  Custodi  del  mondo,"  Gorresio,  "  Adi  Kanda,"  74. 

2  "  Nati  d'un  corpo  solo  siccome  le  quattro  braccia  di  Visnu,"  "  Ayodhya 
Kanda,"  I. 


310  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

were  performed  to  the  Pitri  or  slumbering  ancestors.  The 
cows  were  then  given  to  the  Brahmins  that  the  goodwill  of 
the  ghosts  might  be  still  further  secured. 

And  now  in  the  "  place  of  sacrifice,"  in  a  leafy  cathedral 
perhaps,  with  its  twelve  huge  unhewn  columns,  the  four  moon 
faced,  large-eyed  brides  came  tinkling  along  with  their  leg 
bangles  and  mincing  in  their  gait  like  the  daughters  of  Zion 
who  irritated  the  prophet  Isaiah.  Their  clear  brown  skins 
contrast  with  their  fleecy  muslins.  Their  jewels,  it  is  said, 
made  them  sparkle  like  dancing  flames.  The  sons  of  King 
Dasaratha  were  also  bravely  decked.  Brahmins  muttered 
their  incantations  and  chanted  their  hymns.  The  offerings 
smoked  up  in  the  clear  air.  Each  prince  advanced  and  gave 
his  hand  to  his  bride.  The  four  couples  then  marched  round 
the  flaming  altar  with  measured  steps.  Three  times  this  rite 
was  repeated.  A  prodigy  crowned  the  feast.  Flowers  not 
grown  in  earthly  gardens  were  showered  upon  the  young 
couples  and  the  soft  strains  of  the  Gandharvas  gave  the 
mortals  present  a  taste  of  heavenly  minstrelsy.  When  the 
new  married  couples  had  disappeared,  King  Dasaratha  also 
departed,  accompanied  by  Vasishtha  the  rishi.  But  ere  he 
reached  his  capital  he  was  disturbed  by  sinister  auguries 
observed  on  the  journey.  Birds  flew  away  to  the  left-hand 
side,  and  wild  beasts  appeared  in  the  same  unlucky  quarter. 
And  before  the  monarch  and  the  rishi  reached  their  journey's 
end  another  shadow  of  coming  misfortunes  was  encountered. 
Suddenly  the  skies  grew  black  as  ink  and  the  fierce  Indian 
sun  was  blotted  out  of  the  sky.  Winds  moaned  and  a  huge 
storm  of  choking  black  dust  burst  upon  them.  A  similar 
phenomenon,  called  by  flippant  officers  a  "devil,"  was  en 
countered  by  the  present  writer  whilst  making  the  same 
journey.  When  the  king  arrived  at  Ayodhya  the  winning 
manners  of  pretty  Sita  made  him  forget  his  sad  fancies  for  a 
time. 

Perhaps  the  worst  evils  of  polygamy  are  the  cruel  rivalries 
of  the  palace.  Each  queen  strives  to  get  her  son  nominated 
heir  to  the  royal  umbrella.  To  effect  this,  the  murder  or 
mutilation  of  his  rivals  is  considered  quite  lawful.  And  the 


RAMA.  311 

interests  even  of  the  father  are  made  quite  secondary  to  those 
of  the  boy.  When  the  English  government  got  into  diffi 
culties  with  Shere  Ali  of  Afghanistan,  it  is  no  secret  in 
diplomatic  circles  that  one  of  his  queens  volunteered  to 
murder  him  if  the  succession  were  secured  by  the  English 
government  to  her  son.  A  zenana  is  of  necessity  a  divided 
house,  and  a  state  ruled  from  the  zenana  a  divided  kingdom. 

The  poet  of  Ramayana  has  based  the  dramatic  interest 
of  his  story  on  these  truths.  It  was  the  misfortune  of  King 
Dasaratha  that  his  favourite  son  was  not  the  offspring  of  his 
favourite  queen.  This  was  the  hidden  calamity  that  made 
the  birds  of  the  air  fly  to  the  left  and  the  dust  whirl  in 
darkening  circles  about  the  skies. 

One  of  the  brown-skinned,  large- eyed  queens  of  King 
Dasaratha  was  named  Kaikeyi.  She  was  beautiful  and  attrac 
tive,  silly  and  jealous.  This  jealousy  was  fanned  by  a  mali 
cious  female  slave.  She  accosted  her  mistress  one  day. 
"Awake,  O  foolish  queen.  See  you  not  that  you  are  lost. 
Rama  is  pronounced  the  heir  of  the  king."  Outside,  the  city 
streets  were  noisy  with  preparations  for  the  coming  conse 
cration. 

"  What  is  the  meaning  of  these  words,  Manthara  ? "  said 
the  queen,  with  much  surprise. 

"You  are  nursing  a  serpent,"  said  the  slave,  "and  a  ser 
pent  stings.  See  you  not  that  the  rise  of  Prince  Rama  means 
the  disgrace  and  ruin  of  your  son,  Prince  Bharata.  The  king 
has  befooled  you  with  sterile  blandishments  and  empty  dreams, 
and  will  now  give  you  a  prison  for  a  portion  !  "  With  speeches 
like  these  the  jealousy  of  pretty  and  silly  Queen  Kaikeyi  was 
fanned.  The  slave  pointed  out  also  a  substantial  danger  that 
exists  in  all  Indian  courts.  When  a  young  prince  comes  to 
the  throne,  he  banishes  or  assassinates  his  younger  brothers. 

Queen  Kaikeyi  was  soon  beside  herself  with  rage  and 
fear.  "  What  is  to  be  done  ? "  she  said,  with  breathless  ex 
citement. 

"  Do  you  not  remember,  O  queen,  a  promise  of  the  king  ? 
In  ancient  days,  when  he  came  back  wounded  from  a  war,  you 
tended  and  cured  him.  His  Majesty  then  pronounced  these 


312  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

words,  '  Ask  me  a  boon,  two  boons,  and  I  will  grant  them  ! ' 
That  promise  has  not  yet  been  fulfilled.  Demand  that  Bharata 
shall  be  consecrated  as  heir  to  the  throne,  and  Rama  banished 
to  a  desolate  forest !  " 

The  boldness  of  this  proposal  took  the  queen  by  surprise. 
But  the  persevering  slave  was  not  to  be  baulked.  She 
arranged  a  clever  comedy  for  the  ill-fated  king. 

In  the  women's  apartments  of  an  ancient  Indian  palace 
was  a  Chamber  of  Pouting.  If  any  queen  grew  out  of  temper 
or  jealous,  this  chamber  was  always  ready  to  receive  her  whilst 
the  fit  lasted.  By  the  advice  of  the  slave,  Queen  Kaikeyi 
prepared  what  modern  husbands  call  a  "  scene  "  in  the  palace 
of  Ayodhya.  King  Dasaratha  was  summoned  thither  in  hot 
haste,  and  what  did  he  see  ?  His  favourite  wife,  the  lovely 
Kaikeyi  lying  on  the  bare  ground,  and  weeping  scalding  tears. 
Her  splendid  tiara  of  pearls  and  diamonds  was  flung  at  her 
feet.  Her  glittering  ankle  bangles  and  armlets  were  also 
scattered  around.  Silks  were  tossed  hither  and  thither  and 
the  rarest  muslins.  The  pretty  nails  of  the  queen  were  no 
longer  anointed  with  rare  unguents  of  sandal  powder.  The 
fine  artistic  touches  of  kohl  that  were  wont  to  make  her  eyes 
sparkle  like  the  eyes  of  a  nymph  of  Indra,  were  now  blurred 
with  salt  tears.  The  monarch,  seeing  the  queen  that  he  loved 
dearer  than  his  life  in  this  pitiable  position,  sought  to  comfort 
her,  as  a  noble  beast  when  his  consort  in  the  forest  is  smitten 
with  a  poisoned  arrow. 

"  I  know  not,  dear  queen,"  he  said,  "  the  cause  of  this 
anger  that  you  show  me.  Who  has  outraged  you,  that  you 
lie  thus  in  the  dust  on  the  ground  ?  If  there  is  an  enemy  to 
punish,  a  wrong  to  be  righted,  a  poor  man  to  be  made  rich, 
if  you  want  more  pearls,  diamonds,  emeralds,  tell  me,  O 
woman  of  the  heavenly  smile.  I  am  the  king  of  kings.  Name 
but  your  wish,  and  it  is  granted  ! " 

"  No  one  has  insulted  me  or  vilified  me,"  said  the  queen  ; 
"but  in  old  days  you  made  me  two  promises.  Those  promises 
I  now  wish  to  see  fulfilled." 

"They  are  granted,"  replied  the  monarch.  "With  the 
exception  of  Prince  Rama,  you  are  all  that  is  dear  to  me  in 


RAMA.  3  1 3 

the  world.  Ask  what  you  wish,  and  the  boon  is  granted.  I 
swear  this  on  the  integrity  of  all  my  past  acts." 

"When  a  king  swears  before  Indra  and  the  heavenly 
hosts,"  said  the  queen,  "  before  the  Gandharvas  and  the  spirits 
that  watch  over  the  homes  of  us  all,  we  may  be  sure  that  he 
will  keep  his  word.  In  lieu  of  Rama  consecrate  my  son 
Bharata,  and  banish  Rama  for  fourteen  years  to  the  forests  ! " 

"  Oh,  infamous  fancy,"  said  the  king  in  his  horror ;  and, 
torn  between  his  love  for  Rama  and  his  integrity,  he  fell 
senseless  upon  the  cold  ground.  When  he  recovered,  his 
remorseless  wife  was  still  at  his  side.  He  stormed  at  her, 
he  railed,  he  entreated.  He  flung  himself  at  her  feet  and 
prayed  her  to  withdraw  her  ungenerous  demand.  "  If  for  a 
moment  I  were  deprived  of  the  sight  of  my  dear  son  Rama, 
my  mind  would  not  bear  the  shock.  The  world  would  be 
without  its  base,  the  grass  without  rain,  my  body  without  the 
breath  of  life  !  " 

"  Once  you  were  celebrated  amongst  just  men  as  a  man 
of  truth,  a  man  of  integrity,"  answered  the  queen.  "  You 
promise,  and  now  you  refuse." 

"  The  banishment  of  Rama,  O  ignoble  woman,  means  my 
death,"  and  the  painful  reflection  came  into  the  king's  mind 
that  his  memory  would  for  ever  be  execrated  as  the  dotard 
slave  of  a  vain  woman  and  the  slaughterer  of  his  son.  And 
when,  thought  he,  the  holy  masters  call  me  to  a  solemn 
account  and  say,  "  Where  is  Rama  ?  What  shall  I  say  ?  " 

"  You  speak  as  if  I  were  the  malefactor,"  said  the  queen, 
with  persistent  cruelty.  "  What  fault  have  I  done  ?  The 
promises  came  from  you,  not  me." 

Thus,  through  a  painful  night  the  poor  king  fretted  in 
"  chains  of  fraud."  At  times  he  flung  himself  at  her  feet,  and 
tried  senile  blandishments  and  flatteries  :  "  Save  a  poor  old 
man,  whose  mind  is  getting  unhinged.  Sweet  Kaikeyi  of  the 
gentle  smile,  take  my  life,  my  kingdom,  my  treasure,  every 
thing  but  Rama  !  Spare  me,  save  me  ! " 

The  poet  records  that  once  a  king,  having  promised  to 
save  a  fluttering  dove  that  flew  for  protection  to  his  bosom, 
engaged  himself  to  give  the  pursuing  hunter  any  other  boon. 


314  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Cut  out  your  heart,"  said  the  hunter.  The  king  complied. 
Our  poor,  loving,  senile  old  dotard  has  much  now  in  common 
with  that  afflicted  monarch. 

Morn  came,  but  it  brought  no  solace.  The  king's  chario 
teer,  who  was  poet-laureate  as  well  as  coachman,  woke  him  up 
with  a  madrigal.  Outside  were  courtiers  and  citizens  in  gala 
dress.  They  were  collected  to  see  the  consecration  of  Rama. 

The  king  sent  for  his  son. 

Forth  drove  the  charioteer  to  the  palace  of  the  prince. 
Rama,  summoned,  started  after  exchanging  a  bridegroom's 
farewell  with  Sita  at  the  doorway.  Strong  demonstrations 
from  the  citizens  greeted  him  in  the  streets.  The  populace 
idolized  him.  In  his  father's  palace  he  found  the  king  with 
Kaikeyi.  The  piteous  condition  of  the  former  quite  startled 
him.  The  poor  old  king  could  only  just  articulate  the  words, 
"  Oh,  Rama,"  and  burst  into  a  convulsion  of  sobs.  Rama 
demanded  of  Kaikeyi  the  meaning  of  the  king's  grief.  She 
told  him  bluntly  the  history  of  the  two  promises  and  her 
choice — 

"  My  son  Bharata  is  to  be  consecrated.  And  you  will  be 
banished  to  the  forests  for  fourteen  years." 

"  If  it  makes  my  father  any  happier,  I  am  ready  to  go," 
said  the  prince  simply. 

Soon  the  terrible  news  that  the  prince  was  to  be  banished 
spread  through  the  palace.  Kausalya  heard  it.  The  brothers 
heard  it.  All  were  in  consternation.  A  trial  greater  than 
the  long  banishment  was  the  task  of  breaking  the  painful 
intelligence  to  poor  Sita.  Rama  told  her  what  had  occurred. 
He  exhorted  her  to  bear  his  absence  bravely,  and  comfort  his 
mother.  This  was  the  answer  of  Princess  Sita — 

"  Brave  prince  in  mortal  life 
Men  singly  battle  ;  good  and  evil  deeds 

Are  theirs  ; 

And  each  man  reaps  the  harvest  of  his  acts, 
His  own  and  not  another's. 
But  woman  clings  to  man, 

For  she  is  weak  ; 

His  lot  is  her's,  and  wheresoe'er  he  goes, 
In  briary  paths  or  weary  tanglements 
She  follows  gladly. 


RAMA.  3 1  5 

By  my  great  love  I  swear  that  reft  of  thee, 
Protector,  Master,  Refuge,  Patron  Saint, 

E'en  Brahma's  heaven  were  dull. 

Fathers  and  mothers  eke, 
Beloved  sons  and  daughters,  what  are  they  ? 
A  wedded  spouse  lives  only  in  her  lord. 

Blind  malice  plots  and  wounds, 

Laugh  at  her  wiles,  sweet  prince, 
The  shining  towers  of  golden  battlements, 

Halls  hung  with  silks  galore, 

Couches  and  odours  sweet, 
These  without  thee  were  as  a  desert  waste. 

In  paths  of  banishment 

I  hang  around  thy  feet, 

Thy  weary  feet,  dear  spouse, 
And  the  rude  home  of  tiger,  snake,  and  pard, 
The  thorns,  the  stony  steep,  the  cataract 
That  bellows  with  the  water  of  the  storm, 
And  e'en  the  realms  of  anguish  mortals  feign, 
As  the  grim  goal  of  earthly  infamies — 

These  by  thy  side  were  bliss — 

Thou  art  my  universe, 

Thou  art  the  form  benign, 

That  speaks  to  me  of  heaven, 

That  speaks  to  me  of  love. 
In  wildernesses  dank  our  holy  men 

Clad  in  the  bark  of  trees, 

Dream  holy  dreams  of  God, 
Thus  will  we  live,  and  I  will  deck  my  spouse 
With  chaplets  plundered  in  the  hidden  dells." 

Rama  remonstrates,  and  points  out  how  little  the  silken 
days  of  her  past  life  have  fitted  her  for  the  terrible  ordeal 
of  the  yogi  in  the  forest.  His  other  friends  try  to  dissuade 
her.  The  spectacle  of  this  old-world,  brown-limbed,  bold- 
hearted  young  woman,  this  high  ideal  of  wifehood,  at  the  date 
of  the  poem,  is  quite  extraordinary. 

A  crowd  of  citizens  accompany  the  poor  exiles  as  they 
are  driven  by  the  faithful  poet-charioteer  out  of  Ayodhya. 
Rama  is  the  idol  of  the  populace.  Lakshmana  has  ob 
tained  leave  to  bear  him  company.  The  fond  old  king  went 
out  for  a  short  distance  with  his  son.  He  then  watched  him 
departing  in  a  cloud  of  dust.  Rama's  mother  tried  to  com 
fort  him  in  the  palace.  "Rama  is  gone,"  said  the  king. 
"  Some  men  are  happy,  for  they  will  one  day  see  him  return. 


316  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Not  so  his  poor  father.  Touch  me,  Kausalya,  I  see  you  not." 
The  eyesight  of  the  afflicted  monarch  had  departed  with 
his  son. 

The  first  halt  of  the  exiles  was  on  the  banks  of  the 
Tamasa.  Here  was  a  thick  wood,  and  Rama  and  Sita  slept 
under  a  tree  on  a  litter  of  leaves.  Each  wore  the  apron  of 
bark  tied  with  a  cord  round  the  waist. 

Rama  escaped  furtively  next  day  from  the  banks  of  the 
Tamasa,  for  the  citizens  still  hung  on  his  track.  He  made 
his  way  to  the  Gomati  (now  the  Goomtee)  and  by-and-by 
reached  the  Ganges  at  Sringavera  in  the  district  of  Allahabad. 
The  poet-charioteer  was  here  dismissed  with  a  loving  message 
to  the  old  king.  He  was  enjoined  to  be  kind  to  Kaikeyi  and 
to  forgive  her.  They  then  reached  the  hermitage  of  the  holy 
saint  Bharadwaja,  at  the  junction  of  the  Jumna  and  Ganges. 
At  this  very  sacred  spot  is  the  modern  Allahabad.  By  the 
advice  of  the  sage  they  took  up  their  quarters  on  the  hill 
of  Chitra  Kuta,  which  is  about  two  days'  march  from  Alla 
habad,  and  situate  on  the  river  Pisuni.  The  holy  hill  of 
Chitra  Kuta  is  now  to  the  followers  of  Rama  what  the  Lion 
hill  of  Gaya  is  to  Buddhists. 

"  How  many  centuries  have  passed,"  says  Professor  Monier 
Williams,  "since  the  two  brothers  began  their  memorable 
journey,  and  yet  every  step  of  it  is  known  and  traversed 
annually  by  thousands  of  pilgrims  !  Strong,  indeed,  are  the 
ties  of  religion  when  entwined  with  the  legends  of  a  country. 
Those  who  have  followed  the  path  of  Rama  from  the  Gogra 
to  Ceylon  stand  out  as  marked  men  amongst  their  country 
men.  It  is  this  that  gives  the  Ramayana  a  strange  interest ; 
the  story  still  lives :  whereas  no  one  now  in  any  part  of  the 
world  puts  faith  in  the  legends  of  Homer."  It  is  added  that 
every  cavern  and  rock  round  Chitra  Kutra  is  connected  with 
the  names  of  the  exiles.  The  heights  swarm  with  monkeys. 
The  edible  wild  fruits  are  called  "  Sita's  fruits."  l  Valmiki,  the 
author,  lived  here,  and  he  has  given  his  poems  local  colour. 

To  cross  the  holy  Yamuna  (or  Jumna)  a  raft  was  made  by 
the   brothers   of  logs  and   bamboos.     Sita   trembled    at   the 
1  "  Indian  Epic  Poetry,"  p.  68. 


RAMA.  317 

sight  of  the  gurgling  current,  and  Rama  held  her  in  his  strong 
embrace.  Near  the  banks  where  they  landed  was  a  holy  fig 
tree  (Syama).  "  Having  adored  that  sacred  tree,  Sita  thus 
prayed  to  it  with  pious  reverence,  '  May  my  step-father 
live  for  a  long  time,  lord  of  Kosala.  May  my  husband  live  a 
long  time,  Bharata,  and  my  other  kinsmen.  And  may  I  see 
once  more  Kausalya  living ! '  With  these  words  uttered 
near  the  tree,  Sita  prayed  to  the  holy  fig-tree,  which  is  never 
invoked  in  vain  ;  and  having  duly  worshipped  it  by  tripping 
round  it  from  the  right  hand  side,  the  three  exiles  went  on 
their  way."  1 

The  India  of  Prince  Rama  has  very  little  altered  in  the 
India  of  to-day.  Then,  as  now,  perhaps  folks  already  dwelt 
in  tiny  brick  houses,  with  arabesques  of  vermilion  and  rich 
purple  like  those  of  Pompeii.  Delicate  wood  carvings,  like 
those  that  have  recently  astonished  us  at  South  Kensington, 
were  no  doubt  abundant  both  in  the  bazaar  and  in  the  palace. 
Heavy  hangings,  with  rich  browns  and  pale  yellows  and  sub 
dued  reds,  showed  that  a  bright  sun  can  teach  harmony  of 
colour  as  well  as  M.  Chevreuil  or  the  great  Veronese.  White 
draperies  and  coloured  turbans  and  rich  arms  and  jewels 
flashed  in  the  sunshine.  Tiny  little  half-naked  children  were 
"  nursed  at  the  side  "  like  the  biblical  Israelites.  Isaiah  de 
scribes  the  women  weeping  for  the  god  Tummuz.  This  is  the 
lament  of  the  women  of  Ayodya  for  the  god  Rama.  It  has 
echoed  in  India  for  perhaps  three  thousand  years. 

"  THE  LAMENT  OF  THE  WOMEN. 

"  Weep,  husbands  weep, 
For  what  are  homes  and  wives  and  riches  now 

With  Rama  fled  ? 

Afar  the  forests  smile, 

The  brake  with  dainty  flowers, 

The  lotus-covered  mere, 
The  trees  that  climb  the  mountain,  hiding  fruits 

And  honey,  Rama's  food. 
Blessed  rocks  and  thicket  tangles  ye  that  hold 

The  gentle  Lord  of  Worlds, 
The  Owner  of  the  Mountains,  and  the  Prop, 

1  "Ayodhya  Kanda,"  cap.  Iv. 


3l8  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  Champion  of  the  Right. 

Days  follow  weary  days, 

Each  brings  its  guerdon  sad  ; 
Our  sons  grow  up  within  our  rayless  homes 

Our  homes  bereft  of  hope, 

And  full  of  woman's  tears. 

Fraud  reigns,  the  wicked  queen 

Yokes  us  like  weary  beasts  ; 

Soon  the  blind  king  will  die. 

O  Rama,  come  again  ! 

The  shadow  of  his  feet 
Worship  ye  men,  ye  women  bow  your  heads, 

To  Sita,  blameless  wife  !  " 

The  fugitives  slept  that  night  on  the  banks  of  the  river, 
and  sped  the  next  morning  through  the  forest. 

"  See,"  said  Rama  to  his  wife,  "  the  kinsuka  with  flowers 
that  shine  like  flames  of  fire.  See  the  pippala,  and  the  cham- 
paka.  We  have  reached  Chitra  Kuta,  and  can  live  on  fruits. 
The  bees  hum  around  and  offer  us  their  honey.  Cuckoos  sing 
to  the  peacocks.  Here,  O  woman  of  the  dainty  waist,  is  joy  for 
man  and  brute  !  " 

The  brothers  immediately  set  to  work  and  constructed 
a  rude  hut  for  Sita.  It  was  made  of  supple  boughs  broken 
down  by  the  wild  elephants  and  covered  with  leaves.  This 
rude  hut,  the  pansil,  is  very  prominent  in  Buddhism. 

When  the  hut  was  completed,  Rama  sent  Lakshmana  to 
slaughter  a  stag  with  his  bow.  A  rude  altar  was  erected. 
Rama  bathed  to  purify  himself.  The  carcase  of  the  stag  was 
placed  on  the  holy  fire,  and  the  proper  incantations  were 
recited.  Offerings  were  then  made  to  the  dead  ancestors. 
In  this  way  the  new  domicile  received  the  protection  of  the 
unseen  intelligences.  Portions  of  the  deer  were  then  eaten 
by  the  two  brothers  ;  and  then  the  woman,  Hindu  fashion, 
contented  herself  with  the  broken  victuals.  Thus  commenced 
their  life  in  the  green  woods  of  Chitra  Kuta.  Round  the 
rude  huts  the  flowers  clustered  and  the  birds  sang. 

Meanwhile  the  charioteer  returned  to  the  palace  and 
announced  that  Rama  had  crossed  the  Ganges.  The  news 
was  too  much  for  the  blind  old  king. 

"  Touch  me,  queen,"  he  said  to  Rama's  mother,  "  touch  me, 


RAMA.  319 

and  I  shall  know  you  are  there.  If  this  hand  were  the  hand 
of  Rama,  perhaps  it  would  heal  a  malady  that  nothing  else 
can  cure.  In  fourteen  years  you  will  see  him  return  with  the 
mystic  earrings.  Like  an  old  torch,  my  life  is  burning  low  !  " 
That  night  he  died,  and  his  body  was  embalmed,  to  delay  his 
cremation  until  Rama's  return. 

On  the  death  of  the  king,  Bharata  was  summoned  to  reign 
in  his  place  ;  but  instead  of  being  pleased  with  the  machina 
tions  of  his  mother,  he  stormed  and  raved.  He  refused  to 
accept  the  crown,  and  started  off  with  an  army  of  four  corps 
(infantry,  horsemen,  chariots,  and  elephants)  to  bring  Rama 
back.  They  stayed  one  night  at  the  hermitage  of  Bharadwaja, 
and  that  great  adept,  by  the  power  of  his  magic,  was  able  to 
regale  them  all  with  flesh  meat  and  wine. 

The  necessity  of  a  rigid  observance  of  a  promise,  no 
matter  what  the  consequences,  is  perhaps  the  noblest  teaching 
of  this  fine  old-world  song.  Rama  summoned  to  the  throne, 
refuses  proudly,  "  Have  I  not  pawned  my  word,"  he  answers, 
"  to  the  dead  king,  to  remain  fourteen  years  in  the  forest  ?  " 

A  curious  compromise  is  effected.  Bharata  consents  to 
return  as  viceroy,  taking  with  him  Rama's  two  shoes.  These 
are  to  govern  until  Rama's  fourteen  years  of  banishment  are 
completed.  The  chhattra,  or  royal  umbrella,  is  hoisted  over 
them  when  Bharata  returns.  They  are  placed  on  a  royal 
throne.  Obeisances  and  royal  honours  are  paid  to  them,  and 
no  public  business  is  transacted  without  first  consulting  them. 
Analogous,  as  it  seems  to  me,  is  the  custom  of  the  Buddhists 
to  worship  the  two  footprints  of  Buddha.  From  Chitra  Kuta 
Rama  repairs  to  the  forest  Dandaka,  and  there  a  mighty  bird 
Jatayus,  offspring  of  Garuda,  promises  to  watch  over  Sita. 

The  action  of  the  drama  is  now  quickened.  In  the  forest 
Panchavati  is  a  beautiful  demon,  named  Surpa-nakha.  She 
chanced  to  see  the  splendid  figure  of  Rama  in  the  green  wood. 
His  arms  were  long.  His  brow  flashed  with  a  heavenly 
shimmer.  His  eyes  beamed  like  the  lotus.  His  limbs  were 
the  limbs  of  Kandarpa,  the  Indian  cupid.  Instantly  she 
plunged  deeply  in  love  with  him. 

"  Who  art  thou  with  the  matted  hair  ?  "  said  the  demon. 


32O  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Thou  bearest  a  bow  and  a  quiver.     Why  hast  thou  sought 
these  woods  ?  " 

"  I  am  Rama,  the  son  of  Dasaratha,"  said  the  prince. 
"  I   love  thee,"  said   the  female  demon.      "  My  power  is 
immense.     It  can  transport  thee  to  distant  steep,  to  hidden 
flowery   dell.       Fly   with    me,    and    taste    joys    unknown   to 
mortals." 

"  I  have  a  wife  already,"  said  Rama,  "  and  must  be  true 
to  her.  Here  is  my  brother  Lakshmana.  Love  him." 

The  female  demon  had  power  to  change  her  shape  at  will. 
"  Thy  wife  is  misshapen  and  puny.  In  me  you  behold  a 
worthier  bride.  I  can  thy  wife  destroy." 

Surpa-nakha  is  the  sister  of  Ravana,  and,  baffled  in  her 
love,  she  makes  an  attack  on  Sita.  Lakshmana,  to  punish 
her,  cuts  off  her  ears  and  nose.  Two  of  her  brothers  also,  who 
try  to  avenge  her,  are  slaughtered  by  Rama  and  his  brother. 

The  enraged  fiend  hurries  away  to  Lanka  (Ceylon),  to 
her  terrible  brother  Ravana.  She  narrates  the  slaughter  of 
the  two  brothers  ;  and  judging  that  lust  is  as  strong  a  motive 
power  as  revenge,  she  paints  the  charms  of  Sita  in  warm 
colours — 

"  A  wife  Prince  Rama  owns, 
With  large  round  eyes  and  cheek  divinely  fair, 

Pure  as  the  moon  her  brow  ; 
The  locks  that  fall  adown  her  neck 
Outshine  the  clustering  locks  of  Indra's  nymphs  ; 
Her  waist  is  supple,  and  her  shapely  arms 
Around  a  lover's  neck 
Were  guerdon  richer  far 
Than  all  the  wealth  that  Indra  can  bestow  ; 
Sita,  her  name.     Away, 
Away,  and  seize  the  prize — 
Her  beauty  worthy  thee. 
Lakshman  hath  marred  my  face, 
Our  brothers  in  the  earth, 
Dashan  and  Khara,  lie, 
Their  silent  lips  call  mutely  for  revenge, 
My  wit  shall  aid  thy  strength, 

A  woman's  wit, 
And  we  will  spoil  Prince  Rama." 

The  ferocious  Ravana  falls  easily  into  the  meshes  of  the 


RAMA.  321 

subtle  fiend  Surpa-nakha.  He  goes  off  with  her  to  the 
Dandaka  wood. 

This  is  the  description  of  Ravana — 

He  had  "  ten  faces,  twenty  arms,  copper-coloured  eyes,  a 
huge  chest,  and  white  teeth.  His  form  was  as  a  thick  cloud, 
or  a  mountain,  or  the  God  of  Death  with  open  mouth.  .  .  . 
His  strength  was  so  great  that  he  could  agitate  the  seas  and 
split  the  tops  of  mountains.  He  was  a  breaker  of  all  laws, 
and  a  ravisher  of  other  men's  wives.  .  .  .  Tall  as  a  mountain- 
peak,  he  stopped  with  his  arms  the  sun  and  moon  in  their 
course,  and  prevented  their  rising.  The  sun,  when  it  passed 
over  his  residence,  drew  in  its  beams  with  terror." 

Professor  Monier  Williams  thinks  that  this  "wild  hyper 
bole"  contrasts  most  unfavourably  with  Milton's  description 
of  Satan  ; l  but  the  Indian  poet,  having  Rudra  as  the  storm 
cloud  and  the  many-armed  scorpion  to  depict,  was  of  neces 
sity  a  little  confused  in  his  metaphor.  The  plot  of  the  sister 
is  that  one  of  the  crew  of  Ravana  shall  assume  the  form  of 
the  most  beautiful  antelope  ever  seen.  This  deer  skips 
through  the  wood  near  Sita,  and  she  thinks  it  so  beautiful  that 
she  sends  Rama  off  to  secure  it.  Soon  cries  of  help  are  heard 
in  the  distance.  The  fiends  are  counterfeiting  Rama's  voice. 
Sita  sends  off  Lakshmana  to  his  assistance  ;  and  a  holy  men 
dicant  appears  before  her.  This  is  Ravana  disguised.  He 
seizes  her  in  his  arms  and  places  her  in  his  chariot.  Soon  she 
is  flying  through  the  skies  in  the  direction  of  Lanka.  Gods 
and  the  saints  of  the  past  are  astonished  at  this  bold  iniquity. 
Brahma  himself  calls  out,  "  Sin  is  consummated  ! " 

The  faithful  Jatayus,  the  vulture  who  had  promised  to 
guard  Rama's  wife,  was  witness  of  the  queen's  flight.  He 
opposed  the  terrible  Ravana  with  beak  and  talons,  receiving 
shaft  after  shaft  in  his  faithful  breast.  At  last,  after  a 
terrible  contest,  he  receives  a  death-blow.  Libra  is  killed  by 
Scorpio. 

Rama  and  Lakshmana  are  in  woeful  plight  when  they 
discover  the  loss  of  Sita.  The  dying  Jatayus  reveals  the 
name  of  the  ravisher.  Rama  is  assisted  in  his  quest  by  seven 

1  "  Indian  Epic  Poetry,"  p.  73. 

Y 


322  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

adepts.  These  friendly  spirits  are  able,  by  the  power  of  their 
magic,  to  assume  any  shape,  but  they  usually  figure  as  apes. 
The  ape  is  a  very  holy  animal  in  India.  The  most  active 
of  these  spirits  is  the  famous  Hanuman.  Hanuman  witnessed 
the  flight  of  Sita,  and  was  able  to  produce  for  Rama's  inspec 
tion  some  jewels  and  a  garment  that  she  had  dropped  in  her 
flight.  Sugriva,  the  king  of  the  monkeys,  forms  an  alliance 
with  Rama,  and  promises  to  help  him  to  recover  Sita.  In 
return,  Rama  slaughters  some  of  that  monarch's  foes.  An 
army  is  equipped,  and  Hanuman  marches  south  to  try  and 
discover  the  whereabouts  of  Ravana. 

Meanwhile,  Ravana  has  reached  Lanka,  and  has  shown 
Sita  the  wealth  and  splendour  of  his  capital.  Warmly  he 
urges  his  suit,  and  promises  to  make  her  mistress  of  all  his 
gold  and  jewels.  Our  missionaries  are  shocked  when  they 
hear  some  of  the  primitive  language  of  these  old  Indian  epics. 
But  the  lofty  moral  tone  that  pervades  the  treatment  of  this 
difficult  topic,  the  rape  of  Sita,  is  quite  noteworthy.  Ravana 
uses  cajoleries,  threats,  intimidations.  Sita  is  dignified,  simple, 
brave.  She  speaks  as  if  Ravana's  safety  was  the  only  press 
ing  point  involved — 

"  O  giant  king  give  ear, 

Free  me  and  save  thy  soul ! 
Within  thy  breast  a  guilty  hope  abides 

To  hold  me  in  thine  arms 
And  seize  a  joy  that  ends  in  agony. 

Thus  in  his  fevered  dream 

The  madman  hopes  to  still 

His  pangs  with  poison, 
Release  the  wife  of  Rama  while  you  may, 

Not  long  his  vengeance  stays, 

Implacable  as  fate 

It  traverses  the  hills  and  seas  and  plains 
That  part  the  culprit  and  his  punishment  ; 

Soon  shall  his  twanging  bow, 

His  arrows  flecked  with  gold, 

His  dart  of  glistening  steel, 

Grim  as  dread  Yama's  mace, 
Disperse  thine  inky  legions  as  the  wind 
Pursues  the  racing  cloudlets  white  with  fear, 

Legions  on  legions  press, 

Their  serried  ranks  shine  out, 


RAMA. 


323 


With  gold  and  burnished  brass, 

And  axe,  and  sword,  and  bow, 
They  hurl  defiance  to  my  lion  spouse  ; 

Thus  shall  it  ever  be, 

His  shining  bolts,  through  the  complaining  air 
Shall  speed  to  mar  thy  panoply  and  show. 
In  old  wife  lore  the  Indian  fable  runs, 
That  dying  men  see  phantom  trees  of  gold, 

Look  up,  thy  doom  is  near  ! 
Not  far  the  horrid  regions  red  with  lakes 
Of  human  gore,  the  brake  with  thorns  of  steel 
Prepared  by  Yama's  justice  for  red  hands, 

And  breasts  surcharged  with  lust. 

Thy  threats  and  hopes  are  vain  ! 

My  death  an  easy  feat  ;  a  harder  task 
To  shirk  my  Rama's  unrelenting  bolt." 

Baulked  in  his  passion,  Ravana  hands  her  over  to  certain 
furies.  Brahma  sends  Indra  to  the  rescue,  and  he  gives  her  a 
vase  of  holy  ichor. 

As  the  backbone  of  the  great  Indian  epic  is  the  invasion 
of  the  island  of  Ceylon  by  an  army  of  monkeys,  the  dramatic 
interest  suffers  as  the  climax  nears.  The  "  Beautiful  Book," 
par  excellence  in  the  view  of  the  Hindus,  is  full  of  the  marches 
and  countermarches  of  these  unusual  warriors.  Professor 
Monier  Williams  laughs  at  this  idea,  failing  to  see  that  the 
pure  totemism  of  the  epic  traverses  his  modernizing  theories. 
The  Aryan  cave  man,  face  to  face  with  many  difficult 
problems  of  nature,  had  to  guess  what  was  the  function  of  the 
scorpion  and  the  cobra  that  still  infest  the  cave  temples, 
These  creatures,  with  bewildering  capriciousness,  could  inflict 
death  and  horrible  tortures.  What  wonder  that  animals  got 
to  be  worshipped  superstitiously,  and  that  they  crept  into  the 
Indian  zodiac  as  an  aspect  of  God  ?  It  must  be  remembered 
that  an  ancient  religious  story  had  to  be  presented  to  the 
people  dramatically,  hence  the  value  of  monkeys'  heads, 
dragons'  heads,  etc.  Scenes  from  the  Ramayana  enacted  on 
the  old  Thespian  car  are  still  prominent  at  the  great  festival 
of  Durga.  The  demon  crew,  too,  are  an  army  of  grotesques. 
Some  are  excessively  fat,  some  comically  thin.  Some  have 
heads  of  elephants,  some  heads  of  donkeys.  Humpbacks  and 
very  crooked  thighs  are  the  rule  rather  than  the  exception. 


324  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Some  have  three  legs,  like  pre-historic  Manxmen.  The  teeth 
of  some  of  them  would  puzzle  the  limited  instruments  of 
modern  dentistry,  if  extraction  were  necessary.  The  giants 
and  dwarfs  of  modern  fairs  date  perhaps  from  the  early 
Bactrian  invasion  of  India,  and  the  pig-faced  lady  has  probably 
as  illustrious  a  pedigree. 

Besides  this,  anthropology  in  the  mysteries  of  modern 
savages  is  getting  valuable  hints  as  to  how  the  earlier 
mysteries  developed.  These  savages  wear  hideous  masks  of 
white  beads  and  red  paint.  They  personate  pale  death  and 
monsters  with  heads  of  birds  and  beasts.  They  smear  the 
novice  with  filth  ;  and  their  floggings  and  torture  quite 
transgress  the  regions  of  pure  mime  and  pantomime.  They 
have,  as  Mr.  Lang  has  shown,  the  bull-roarer,  the  p6[j,(3o£  of 
the  mysteries  of  Eleusis.  This  is  a  flat  oblong  piece  of 
wood  which  whirled  round  with  a  string  produces  a  hideous 
sound.  Death  is  the  penalty  of  showing  this  to  a  woman. 
This  means  that  it  was  seriously  schemed  in  early  days  that 
the  hideous  noises  in  the  mystic  groves,  the  dread  figures  with 
masks  and  beads  should  be  believed  to  belong  to  the  super 
natural.  Ravana  means  "  the  noisy  one,"  and  Rudra  "  the 
roarer." 

When  Rama  and  his  allies  find  themselves  arrested  by  the 
sea  in  the  vicinity  of  the  now-celebrated  Adam's  Bridge,  the 
exceptional  accomplishments  of  Hanuman  are  brought  into 
requisition.  He  can  swim,  he  can  fly,  he  can  swell  his  form 
to  gigantic  proportions  or  make  it  as  small  as  the  body  of  a 
cat.  He  passes  the  straits  by  swimming,  and  raises  up  the 
mountain  Mainaka  in  the  very  middle  of  them.  Certainly  it 
is  there  to  this  day,  so  the  story  must  be  true.  He  has  a 
tremendous  encounter  with  the  queen  of  all  the  Nagas  or 
mighty  submarine  monsters.  She  opens  her  huge  cavernous 
jaws  to  swallow  him  and  the  mighty  aperture  is  ten  leagues 
across.  Hanuman  distends  himself  to  twenty  leagues  and 
puzzles  the  monster.  Her  monstrous  jaws  grow  capable  at 
last  of  compassing  this  huge  swallow,  and  then  Hanuman 
increases  his  bulk  to  forty  leagues,  and  eventually  to  one 
hundred  leagues  as  the  swallowing  capacity  of  the  Naga  pro- 


RAMA.  325 

portionately  increases.  Then  Hanuman  suddenly  contracts 
himself  to  the  size  of  a  thumb  and  darts  through  her  huge 
carcase.  Professor  Monier  Williams  half  apologizes  for  men 
tioning  such  "  wild  exaggeration."  1  But  the  student  of  mytho 
logy  may  take  a  different  estimate  of  its  importance.  At 
the  date  of  the  Sanchi  temple  (500  to  100  B.C.)  the  sign  for 
Capricorn  2  was  a  huge  sea  monster  with  a  gigantic  elephant 
in  his  mouth.  Symbol  and  narrative  are  plainly  connected. 
In  discussing  the  antiquity  of  the  Indian  zodiac  the  story  of 
Hanuman  and  the  Naga  has  its  manifest  value. 

Hanuman  discovers  Sita  in  a  grove  of  trees  amongst  the 
splendid  palaces  of  Ravana's  infernal  kingdom.  She  was 
plunged  in  sad  dreams.  She  wore  the  garb  of  a  widow.  Her 
hair  was  collected  in  a  simple  braid.  She  appeared  like 
"memory  clouded,  like  prosperity  ruined,  like  hope  abandoned." 
Hanuman  reveals  himself  as  Rama's  messenger,  but  she 
distrusts  him.  He  exhibits  Rama's  ring,  which  had  been 
entrusted  to  him,  and  gains  her  confidence.  He  offers  to 
transport  her  through  the  skies  to  Rama,  but  she  says  that 
she  cannot  touch  the  person  of  any  one  but  her  husband. 
Hanuman  then  has  a  great  fight  with  the  demons.  He  kills 
many,  but  is  in  the  end  taken  prisoner,  and  they  set  alight  to 
his  tail.  He  escapes  and  creates  a  great  conflagration.  By- 
and-by  he  returns  to  Rama,  and  exhibits  a  jewel  sent  by  Sita 
as  a  token. 

The  bridge  built  between  Ceylon  and  the  peninsula  of 
Hindustan  by  the  monkeys  will  be  famous  for  ever.  This  was 
the  prophecy  of  the  Pitris,  or  dead  saints  of  the  past,  as  they 
witnessed  the  operation  of  building.  The  son  of  Visvakarman 
was  the  architect.  The  mighty  boulders  that  have  been 
scattered  about  the  plains  of  India  by  ice  or  other  action  are 
believed  to  this  day  to  have  been  dropped  by  the  monkeys 
when  collecting  rocks  for  their  gigantic  bridge.  The  line  of 
rocks  that  cross  the  straits  and  figure  in  modern  maps  as 
Adam's  Bridge,  are  called  Rama's  Bridge  in  India.  And  the 
island  half-way  across  is  called  Rama's  Pillar. 

The  terrible  Ravana,  having  learnt  from  his  spies  that  a 
1  "  Indian  Epic  Poetry,"  p.  78.  2  See  p.  7. 


326  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

mighty  army  of  monkeys  had  crossed,  made  one  more 
supreme  effort  to  beguile  poor  Sita.  By  the  power  of  his 
magic  he  produced  a  phantasmal  head  exactly  like  Rama's 
head.  He  flung  it  at  her  feet — 

"  There,"  he  said,  "  is  your  husband  and  your  avenger,  and 
there  is  his  bow.  I  have  put  his  army  to  the  rout." 

Poor  Sita  was  plunged  in  the  depths  of  despair ;  but  by- 
and-by  a  benign  spirit  appeared  to  her  and  told  her  that  the 
story  was  false. 

"  Listen  to  yonder  distant  rumbling.  Hear  you  not  the 
drum  and  the  conch.  Rama  is  not  dead.  There  is  his  army." 
Soon  the  noise  of  battle  draws  nearer.  The  single  combats 
are  of  course  numerous,  and  detailed  at  great  length.  Cohorts 
of  doughty  warriors  bite  the  dust.  Even  Rama  and  Laksh- 
mana  are  by-and-by  overthrown,  and  Ravana  forces  Sita  to 
come  with  him  in  his  chariot  to  view  their  dead  bodies,  as  he 
believes  them  to  be.  But  the  bird  Garuda  heals  them. 

At  length  the  crucial  battle  takes  place  between  Rama 
and  Ravana.  Ravana  is  seated  in  a  magic  car,  drawn  by 
horses  with  human  heads.  Indra  sends  Rama  his  own  car, 
driven  by  charioteer  Matali.  As  during  the  fight  of  Achilles 
and  Hector,  the  gods  range  themselves  on  each  side  of  the 
combatants,  and  the  armies  cease  fighting  to  witness  the 
crucial  encounter.  The  tactics  on  both  sides  seems  to  have 
been  skilful  bow-shooting  and  rapid  whirls  of  the  cars.  Rama 
cuts  off  a  hundred  heads  in  succession,  but,  Hydra-like,  a 
fresh  one  takes  the  place  of  the  last  one.  The  fight  lasts  for 
seven  days  and  seven  nights.  At  length  the  mighty  chakra 
is  brought  into  play.  This  has  the  wind  for  its  feathers,  the 
fire  for  its  point,  the  air  for  its  body,  the  mountain  of  Meru 
for  its  weight.  This  is,  I  think,  stating  very  plainly  that 
it  is  the  swastika,  the  symbol,  the  four  seasons,  the  four 
elements.  In  one  part  of  the  poem  it  is  said  that  the  weapons 
of  conquering  Indra  take  the  form  of  serpents  ;  and  in  a  book, 
the  "  Hanumanataka,"  it  is  explained  that  these  weapons 
change  to  serpents  when  they  reach  an  enemy.  Rama  over 
throws  Ravana,  and  his  wives  set  up  doleful  lamentations. 


(    327    ) 


CHAPTER  XXIII. 

Zodiacal  Interpretation  of  the  Story — The  Horse  the  Indian  Aries — The 
Lower  Marriage — The  Indian  Tree  or  Virgo  with  the  Lion  Throne — 
The  Bird  Garuda — Scorpion  and  the  Bow — The  Elephant,  Cup,  and 
Quoit  of  Death. 

THE  ZODIAC  OF  INDIAN  MYTH. 

THE  root  idea  of  this  story  is  to  reveal  and  conceal  the 
mysteries. 

For  the  initiates  we  have  the  story  of  an  ascetic  acquiring 
magical  powers  and  the  twelve  stages  of  interior  progress 
symbolized  by  the  Indian  zodiac. 

For  those  who  are  only  fit  for  St.  Paul's  "  milk  for 
babes "  we  have  the  conceivable  anthropomorphic  God 
Purusha,  whose  life  is  made  to  fit  in  with  the  festivals  and 
monthly  worship  of  the  twelve  stone  gods. 

Under  the  second  aspect  is  presented  the  growth  of  rice, 
the  material  food,  under  the  first  the  growth  of  the  bread  of 
life. 

"They  [the  Brahmins]  have  always  observed  the  order 
of  the  gods  as  they  are  to  be  worshipped  in  the  twelvemonth," 
says  the  "  Rig  Veda." x 

"The  year  is  Prajapati "  (the  Divine  Man),  says  the 
"  Aitareya  Brahmana."  2 

"  Thou  dividest  thy  person  in  twelve  parts,"  says  a  hymn 
in  the  "  Mahabharata,"  "  and  becomest  the  twelve  Adityas."  3 

"  These  pillars,  ranging  in  rows  like  swans,  have  come  to 

1  "  Rig  Veda,"  vii.  p.  103.  2  Haug,  vol.  ii.  p.  6. 

3  "Vana  Parva,"  v.  189. 


328  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

us  erected  by  pious  rishis  to  the  East.  They  proceed  re 
splendent  in  the  path  of  the  gods."  1 

"  The  body  is  like  a  town  with  eleven  gates,  through  which 
the  soul  enters.  The  soul  dwells  in  the  heavens  as  the  divine 
bird." 2 

Let  us  consider  these  mystical  gates.  Mr.  Burgess  and 
an  American  Orientalist  named  Whitney  asserted  a  few  years 
back  that  the  Indians  knew  nothing  of  the  zodiac  until  they 
borrowed  it  from  the  Greeks,  A.D.  500.  Of  the  Greek  zodiac 
perhaps  not.  The  Indian  zodiac  is  detailed,  with  a  little 
disguise,  in  the  episode  of  the  "  Mahabharata,"  entitled  the 
"  Churning  of  the  Ocean."  Narayana,  to  gain  for  mortals 
the  amrita  or  immortal  drink,  coils  the  serpent  Vasuki  or 
ecliptic  round  the  mountain  Mandar  (the  Indian  symbol  for 
the  Kosmos),  and  makes  it  spin  round  and  "  churn  "  the  ocean 
(unfashioned  fluidic  matter).  This  action  is  opposed  by  the 
spirits  of  darkness,  and  in  the  little  story  the  signs  of  the 
Indian  zodiac,  as  they  figure  in  the  earliest  monuments,  are 
somewhat  clumsily  brought  in. 

1.  "The  Deva  Dhanwantari  in  a  human  shape  came  forth, 
holding  in  his  hand  a  white  vessel  filled  with  the  immortal 
juice  amrita  "  (Aquarius). 

2.  "  Chakra,"  the  disc  with  the  swastika  symbol  (Pisces). 

3.  "  The  White  Horse,  called  Uchisrava  "  (Aries). 

4.  "  Surabhi  the  Cow,  that  granted  every  heart's  desire  " 
(Taurus). 

5.  Gemini  represents  the  positive  and  negative  principles 
symbolized  here  by  Narayana  and  Rahu  the  Sura  (Spirit  of 
Light)  and  the  Asura  (Spirit  of  Darkness). 

6.  "  Kurma  Raja  "  (King  Tortoise)  who  has,  like  the  Crab, 
the  mystic  outline  of  the  Rod  of  Hermes. 

;.  "  The  Lion  "  (Leo). 

8.  "  Sri,  the  goddess  of  Fortune,  whose  seat  is  the  white 
lily  of  the  waters."     Virgo  is  also  symbolized  by  the  "  Parija- 
taka,  the  Tree  of  Plenty." 

9.  The  Jewel  Kaustubha  (Libra). 

1  Translated  by  Max  Miiller,  "  Rig  Veda,"  iii.  8. 

2  Cited  by  Mrs.  Manning  from  Kattra  Upanishad  "A.  Ind."  i.  138. 


INDIAN  ZODIAC.  329 

10.  "  Rahu   the  Asura,"  beheaded  by  the  quoit  of  Nara- 
yana  (Scorpio). 

11.  "Immortal  Indra"  (Sagittarius) who  pierces  the  cloud 
with  his  lightning. 

12.  "  In  the  mean  time  Airavata,  a  mighty  elephant,  arose, 
now  kept  by  the  god  of  thunder.     And  as  they  continued  to 
churn  the  ocean  more  than  enough,  that  deadly  poison  (the 
elephant)  issued  from  its  bed  burning  like  a  raging  fire,  whose 
dreadful  fumes  in  a  moment  spread  through  the  world,  con 
founding  the  three  regions  of  the  universe  with  its   mortal 
stench,  until  Siva,  at  the  word  of  Brahma,  swallowed  the  fatal 
drug  to  save  mankind,  which  drug  remaining  in  the  throat  of 
that  sovereign  Deva  of  magic  form,  from  that  time  he  hath 
been  called  Nilkanta,  because  his  throat  was  stained  blue." 

As  early  as  the  date  of  the  Sanchi  tope  the  sign  for  Capri 
corn  was  an  elephant  sticking  in  the  throat  of  a  makara  or 
leviathan.  This  is,  of  course,  the  same  story  as  Hanuman 
and  the  Naga. 

The  career  of  the  sun-god  begins,  as  I  have  shown,  at  the 
last  octave  of  February,  the  feast  of  the  Black  Durga.  As 
the  symbol  for  this  month  is  the  swastika,  we  have  in  Rama's 
case  a  quadruple  birth.  The  horse  is  Agni.  Agni,  in  the 
"  Rig  Veda,"  is  constantly  called  the  messenger  of  the  gods, 
the  medium  of  communication  between  the  seen  and  the 
unseen  worlds.  This  brings  in  a  second  piece  of  symbolism. 

"  Thou  art  born,  majestic  Child,  of  Heaven  and  of  Earth. 
Thou  hast  come  forth  from  the  wood  of  the  Arani  (fire-churn). 
With  noise  thou  appearest  on  the  breast  of  thy  mother. 
Darkness  and  Night  flee  away. 

"  He  is  born  majestic  and  wise,  under  the  name  of 
Vishnu."  l 

As  the  Arani,  or  fire-churn,  was  also  shaped  like  the  swas 
tika,  we  get  from  another  source  the  meaning  of  that  symbol. 
Its  two  limbs,  as  early  as  the  "Rig  Veda,"  meant  heaven  and 
earth,  the  two  mighty  serpents,  the  father  and  the  mother. 

I  wish  here  to  notice  a  subtle  principle  of  construction 
that  seems  to  have  been  followed  in  framing  the  twelve 

1  "Rig  Veda,"  7.  5-  IS- 


330  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Adityas.  These  in  reality  are  only  six.  Each  god  of  the 
summer  half-year  has  his  counterpart  in  the  wintry  half-year. 
In  the  instance  of  the  black  and  the  white  Durga  this  seems 
patent  enough.  The  higher  Brahminism  at  bottom  has 
always  been  an  idealism  and  not  a  dualism. 

ARIES.    THE  HORSE.    AGNI. 

"  I  honour  the  steed  Dadhicras,  strong  and  victorious. 

"  Praise  the  swift  Dadhicras  !    Honour  heaven  and  earth. 

"An  humble  servant,  I  honour  the  great  Dadhicras, 
generous,  adorable,  shining  like  Agni. 

"  In  his  ardour  to  attack  (the  Dasyous),  he  leads  the  war- 
chariot.  With  a  panoply  of  flowers,  a  friend  of  the  people  he 
shines,  beating  the  dust  and  champing  his  bit."  l 

The  special  symbol  of  Agni  in  the  Hindu  Pantheon  is  the 
horse.  The  following  passage,  from  the  "Satapatha  Brahmana," 
describes  him  under  eight  different  aspects,  Rudra,  Isama,  etc. 
I  give  the  opening  verses. 

"  The  Lord  of  Beings  was  a  householder  and  Ushas  was 
his  wife.  Now  these  '  beings  '  were  the  seasons.  That  Lord 
of  Beings  was  the  year.  That  wife  Ushas  was  the  daughter 
of  the  Dawn.  Then  both  these  beings  and  that  Lord  of  Beings, 
the  year,  impregnated  Ushas  and  a  boy  (Agni)  was  born."  2 

In  this  passage  we  plainly  see  that  the  young  sun-god,  or 
year,  Agni  is  the  daughter  of  Ushas,  our  Black  Durga.  He 
opens  the  year  in  Aries,  and  has  a  complicated  quaternity  of 
seasons  for  a  father  like  Rama,  and,  as  I  shall  show,  the  five 
sons  of  Panda.  The  passage  of  the  year  was  imaged  as  the 
flight  of  a  horse  round  the  wrorld.  Hence  the  horse  sacrifice. 
A  selected  horse  was  cast  loose  like  the  scapegoat  of  the 
Jews.  For  an  entire  year  he  roamed  free,  and  then  was  sacri 
ficed  with  great  pomp. 

Another  Vedic  hymn  explains  the  wings— 

"  Thine  arms,  O  shining  god,  are  like  the  wings  of  the 
sparrowhawk.  O  horse,  thy  birth  is  noble  and  worthy  of  our 
praise."  3 

1  «  Rig  Veda,"  3.  7.  6  ;  portions  of  hymns  6,  7,  8. 

2  "  Satapatha  Brahm.,"  6.  i.  3.  8.  3  "  Rig  Veda,"  ii.  3.  6. 


INDIAN  ZODIA C.  331 

The  wings  of  the  horse  are  the  flames,  the  wings  of  the 
heavenly  bird,  the  doves  of  Agni, 
as  one  hymn  calls  them.  On  the 
other  side  of  the  zodiac,  Agni  is  Ga- 
ruda,  the  divine  spirit,  as  I  shall 
show. 

This  explains  the  first  stage  of 
Rama's  life.     He  is   the  year  born 


from  the  ichor  of  the  horse  sacrifice,  Flg-  22' 

the  dead  year.     I   copy  a  winged  horse  from  Buddha  Gaya 

(Fig.  22). 

THE  BULL. 

That  there  are  in  reality  only  six  year-gods,  each  figuring 
in  the  wintry  half-year  as  well  as  the  six  months  of  summer, 
might  be  inferred  from  the  Bull  alone. 

Vriha,  the  Bull.  Root  word,  vrish,  to  rain.  Whence 
also  Vritra,  the  Scorpio,  as  I  shall  show,  of  the  "  Rig  Veda." 

"Rudra,  one  who  roars.  The  name  of  Siva  as  the  god 
of  the  tempests."  Thus  Benfey  in  his  "  Sanskrit  Dictionary." 

Rudra  in  the  summer  half-year  roars  like  a  bull.  In  the 
wintry  half-year  he  roars  like  the  terrible  Indian  tempest. 
In  the  one  he  is  Taurus,  in  the  other  Scorpio.  In  the  "  Rig 
Veda "  the  demon  Vritra  is  being  constantly  slaughtered  by 
the  arrow  of  Indra  (Sagittarius).  The  modern  Vritra  figures 
as  the  terrible  Bhairava.  This  last  was  an  avatara  of  Siva, 
as  the  god  of  cruelty.  He  wears  his  terrible  chaplet  of  skulls, 
and  rides  upon  the  bull  Nandi.  "  Let  us  invoke  the  terrible 
Rudra  with  the  Maruts " 1  (winds).  Human  sacrifices  were 
offered  to  Rudra  at  the  date  of  the  Mahabharata. 

In  the  "  Rig  Veda  "  Vritra  is  always  represented  as  having 
carried  away  the  cows  or  clouds  to  his  cavern  (the  wintry  half- 
year).  He  is  constantly  being  called  a  thief,  like  Rudra  the 
Prowler,  the  Lord  of  Woods,  the  Lord  of  Thieves.  In  the 
epics  the  evil  principle,  the  villain  of  the  story,  as  moderns 
would  say,  has  always  an  excessive  number  of  limbs,  like 
Ravana.  The  noisome  insect  that,  like  Rudra,  "  assails  with 
1  "Rig  Veda,"  x.  126.  5. 


332  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

poison,"  and  has,  moreover,  a  superfluity  of  eyes  and  legs,  was 
a  fit  emblem  for  Nature  under  her  most  unbenign  aspect.  In 
the  East,  scorpions  are  sometimes  a  foot  long,  and  their  sting 
fatal. 

But  in  the  summer  half-year  he  is  the  fructifying  shower — 

"  May  the  fruitful  cows  with  their  tongues  caress  the 
plants.  May  they  drink  those  waters  which  give  strength 
and  life.  Rudra,  spare  these  moving  creatures  which  give  us 
our  food ! 

"  These  cows  who  give  up  their  bodies  to  the  devas. 
Soma  knows  their  forms.  Bring  them,  Indra,  to  our  pasturage. 
Let  them  give  us  their  milk.  For  us  let  them  become  fruitful." 

The  bull  in  Rama's  life  is  the  demon  killed  in  the  "  Grove 
of  Perfection." 

GEMINI. 

The  great  Indian  festival  of  the  Twins,  represented  in 
India  by  a  too  homely  word,  means  nature  procreative.  It  is 
the  festival  of  the  waters,  when  from  the  days  of  Rama  to 
the  days  of  Lord  DufTerin,  young  maidens  pelt  each  other 
with  red  water  and  broad  mirth  ;  and  they  dance  round  the 
Indian  maypole,  the  tree  of  the  Holi.  The  red  water  repre 
sents  nature's  fecund  juices.  The  rice  buried  in  the  earth  is 
now  to  be  fertilized  by  the  rains.  The  festival  is  the  Indian 
Olympia,  where  Buddha  and  Rama  win  a  bride  by  their 
athletic  prowess.  At  midnight,  Sagittarius,  the  celestial  bow, 
is  shining. 

The  pair,  Aditi  and  Daksha,  matter  and  spirit,  the  male 
and  female  symbol,  are  they  not  the  keystone  of  the  old 
religions.  They  represent  procreation,  life,  summer  ;  and 
opposite  to  them  in  the  zodiac  is  the  wintry  arrow  of  death. 

"  Of  these  two  gods,  which  is  the  oldest  ?  Which  is  the 
youngest  ?  How  were  they  born  ?  O  poets,  who  can  tell  ? 
They  carry  the  world  whilst  Day  and  Night  roll  along  like 
two  wheels. 

"  Calm  and  motionless,  they  contain  beings  endowed  with 
activity  and  life.  As  parents  protect  a  beloved  child,  preserve 
us,  O  Heaven  and  Earth,  from  evil 


INDIAN  ZODIAC.  333 

"Sisters,  always  young  and  complete  counterparts,  they 
follow  each  other  by  their  parents,  and  gliding  through  the 
centre  of  the  universe.  O  Heaven  and  Earth,  deliver  us  from 
evil. 

"  I  invoke  in  the  sacrifice  imploring  the  aid  of  the  gods 
these  two  mothers,  colossal,  solid,  beautiful,  containing  im 
mortality.  Heaven  and  Earth,  deliver  us  from  evil.  .  .  . 
Heaven  and  Earth,  our  father  and  mother,  grant  to  us  the 
favour  which  we  ask  of  thee." 1 

In  this  hymn  they  are  two  sisters,  and  also  husband  and 
wife.  In  the  following  they  are  male  twins,  and  also  inferen- 
tially  husband  and  wife.  Sex  is  of  small  account  in  stars. 
"  They  (the  Ribhus,  or  ancient  prophets)  have  constructed  for 
the  truth-loving  Aswins  (the  Indian  Twins)  a  car  of  good 
omen  that  glides  round  the  world.  They  have  produced  the 
cow  that  gives  milk. 

"The  Ribhus,  powerful  by  their  prayers  and  justice,  have 
restored  youth  to  their  father  and  mother."  2 

I  will  now  quote  some  other  passages  that  throw  light  upon 
the  subject. 

"  Two  mothers  of  different  colours,  rapid  in  motion,  give 
birth  each  to  a  babe.  From  the  womb  of  one  is  born  Hari  (the 
Blue  One),  honoured  by  libations.  From  the  womb  of  the  other 
is  born  Sukra  (the  Shining  One),  with  the  dazzling  flame."3 

"  I  invoke  Night  which  covers  the  universe.  I  demand 
the  succour  of  the  divine  Savitri.  Divine  Savitri  returning  to 
us  with  his  dark  face  establishes  every  one  in  his  right  place, 
gods  and  mortals.  .  .  .  He  will  follow  two  roads,  the  one 
ascending  and  the  other  descending  (during  the  night).  .  .  . 
His  black  horses  step  out  with  their  white  feet.  And  on  the 
chariot  with  the  golden  wheels  they  bring  light  to  men.  The 
noble  god  called  the  Asura  (Rayless  One)  rises  by  imper 
ceptible  movement,  and  comes,  wing  borne,  to  reveal  himself 
in  the  sky.  Where  in  this  minute  is  the  sun  ?4  What  regions 
are  lit  up  with  his  rays  ?  " 5 

1  "  Rig  Veda,"  v.  2.  2  Ibid.,  ii.  i.  34.  3  Ibid.,  vii.  i.  i. 

4  At  the  moment  of  the  Hindoo  sacrifice,  just  before  sunrise. 
6  Ibid.,  iii.  2. 


334  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM, 

"  Beneficent  Aswins,  the  same  immortal  chariot  bears  ye 
across  the  ocean  (of  their  air). 

"  Of  this  chariot  one  wheel  touches  the  unscaleable  moun 
tain,  the  other  rolls  along  the  sky."  1 

"  Travellers,  to  form  the  light  you  drive  along  the  sky  one 
of  the  shining  wheels  of  your  car.  The  other  also  rolls 
grandly  across  the  worlds  that  belong  to  the  children  of 
Night."  2 

"  Aswins,  we  invoke  to-day  your  swift  and  mighty  chariot 
....  which  on  its  seat  transports  the  daughter  of  the  sun."  3 

These  passages  tell  us  pretty  plainly  all  we  want  to  know 
about  the  Aswins.  As  Yasca  and  the  scholiast  assure  us, 
they  are  plainly  the  father  and  mother,  the  positive  and 
negative  principles.  Savitri,  the  sun-god,  has  two  roads,  the 
ascending  and  descending  nodes  of  the  ecliptic.  In  the 
summer  he  is  Sukra,  the  Shining  One.  In  the  winter  he  is 
the  Asura. 

CANCER.    LEO.    VIRGO. 

The  signs  Cancer,  Leo,  Virgo,  and  the  Balance,  are  closely 
connected.  The  wicked  queen  of  the  material  world  and  the 
crooked  slave  (perhaps  Cancer)  drive  Rama  to  spiritual  life 
under  the  mystical  tree  that  in  Buddhism  has  the  lion  throne 
at  its  base  and  the  pearl  Mani,  also  imaged  as  the  bird 
Garuda,  in  its  branches.  This  is  why  that  bird  watches  over 
Sita.  Sita  marching  round  the  tree  is  Virgo  in  her  double 
aspect.  We  have  reached  the  "  Black  Gate  "  of  the  Buddhists 
that  separates  the  earth  life  from  the  heavenly  life.  It  is  the 
Indian  gate  crested  with  the  bird  Garuda.  Sita  (a  furrow), 
as  her  name  implies,  is  the  Indian  Ceres  ;  and  in  the  Dekhan 
Peshwa  and  all  his  followers  move  out  into  camp  on  the 
twelfth  day  of  her  festival,  the  Dasara,  as  it  is  called  by  the 
Marathas.  Sir  John  Malcolm  describes  the  ceremonies. 
Elephants  and  cannon  and  sepoys  and  nobles  are  all  dressed 
and  decked  out  in  gala  array.  The  whole  population  moves 
in  solemn  procession  towards  the  Holy  Tree,  the  object  of 

1  "Rig  Veda/'  ii.  n.  18.  19.  2  Ibid.,  iv.  11.  3. 

3  Ibid.,  vii.  12.  i. 


INDIA Ar  ZODIA  C.  335 

adoration.  The  Peshwa  in  person  plucks  a  few  leaves  from 
it,  after  the  Brahmins  have  gone  through  the  prescribed  sacri 
fices  and  prayers.  Cannon  and  muskets  are  discharged, 
and  bows  shot  off;  and  the  whole  population,  headed  by 
the  Peshwa,  decorate  themselves  with  stalks  of  jowri,  or  the 
rice  stalk.  Sita  is,  of  course,  the  earth,  and  Rama  the  rice. 
Our  sepoys  in  the  old  days  used  to  make  Sita's  festival  their 
great  holiday.  I  saw  on  the  drill  ground  of  Dinapore  two 
colossal  wicker  giants,  built  up  to  represent  Ravana  and 
Kumbhakarna.  Then  the  sepoys,  disguised  as  demons  and 
as  the  monkeys  of  the  army  of  Hanuman,  executed  a  pan 
tomime  in  which  many  a  sounding  stroke  was  delivered.  The 
giants,  stuffed  with  crackers,  were  then  exploded  with  a  loud 
noise. 

Assisted  by  the  missionary  Ward's  excellent  "  History  of 
the  Hindoos,"  let  us  consider  the  great  festival  of  Durga,  or 
the  full-grown  tree.  It  took  place  at  the  same  period  of  the 
year  that  the  great  Eleusinian  mysteries  were  celebrated. 
They  also  had  the  Sacred  Way  to  the  Fig  Tree.  Durga  is 
Ceres.  Durga  is  Aditi.  The  Great  Mother  has  seen  many 
rivals  contest  her  throne,  Indra,  Vishnu,  Siva,  Allah,  etc. 
She  has  seen  many  creeds  wax  and  wane.  She  preceded 
them  by  many  centuries,  and  has  eclipsed  them  all.  Her 
festival,  with  Vaishnavas,  as  well  as  with  the  worshippers  of 
Siva,  is  still  the  great  religious  feast  of  the  year.  One  of  her 
names  is  Vana-devi,  the  goddess  of  forests.1 

The  festival  of  Durga  is  the  great  holiday  of  the  year. 
All  business  is  suspended  for  many  days.  Poor  and  rich 
devote  themselves  to  piety  and  pleasure.  One  of  the  most 
important  early  ceremonies  is  the  consecration  of  the  image 
of  the  goddess.  The  officiating  Brahmin  has  to  give  eyes 
and  life  to  it.  With  the  two  forefingers  of  his  right  hand 
he  touches  the  breast,  the  two  cheeks,  the  eyes,  and  the 
forehead  of  the  image.  He  says,  "  Let  the  soul  of  Durga 
long  continue  in  happiness  in  this  image  ! "  He  then  takes 
a  leaf  of  the  vilwa  tree,  rubs  it  with  clarified  butter,  and  holds 
it  over  a  burning  lamp  until  it  is  covered  with  soot.  With 

1  Ward,  vol.  ii.  115. 


336  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

this  soot  he  touches  the  eyes,  filling  up  with  soot  a  small 
white  place  left  in  the  pupil  of  the  eye.  This  ceremony  is 
called  chakshur  dana.  Giving  eyes  to  the  idol,  with  all  early 
religions,  meant  divine  obsession.  In  the  days  of  Rama  the 
representation  of  a  god  was  a  shapeless  stone.  Stones,  espe 
cially  the  Shalagrama,  are  still  worshipped  by  the  Brahmins 
of  India.1 

Proceeding  with  his  worship,  the  officiating  priest  now 
throws  himself  into  the  mystic  trance  (dhyana).2  He  becomes, 
in  fact,  full  of  the  divine  spirit,  like  a  Quaker  at  a  meeting 
house.  He  places  a  tiny  square  piece  of  gold  for  the  goddess 
to  sit  upon.  He  offers  rice,  plantains,  flowers,  and  leaves. 
For  a  drink-offering  the  sorna  wine  is  presented,  or  aromatic 
water,  the  flavouring  medium  of  which  is  usually  the  sesamum 
Indicum.  Handbells  ring,  gongs  sound,  incense  rises.  The 
priest  says,  "  O  goddess,  come  here,  stay  here.  Take  up 
thine  abode  here  and  receive  my  worship ! " 3  He  then 
addresses  her  as  if  she  were  now  occupying  the  tiny  piece  of 
gold  as  a  seat.  He  asks  her  if  she  has  arrived  happily.  A 
voice  from  the  priest's  throat,  supposed  to  be  the  goddess, 
makes  reply,  "Very  happily!"  Water  to  bathe  her  feet, 
water  to  wash  her  mouth,  water  for  a  bath,  clothes,  jewels, 
arm  bangles,  ankle  bangles,  nose  rings,  earrings,  even  coins 
of  money,  are  provided  for  her.  Flowers  are  offered,  each 
with  a  separate  incantation.  A  lamp  is  lighted  before  the 
image.  The  Brahmin  walks  round  her  seven  times. 

But  Durga  is  not  a  vegetarian.  She  was  in  existence 
many  years  before  Buddha  forbade  flesh  meat  and  Krishna 
confirmed  his  edict.  Therefore,  if  you  want  her  to  come 
down  and  sit  on  a  tiny  golden  throne,  you  must  give  her 
something  more  substantial  than  rice.  For  the  bloody  sacri 
fice,  the  Brahmin  takes  a  sheep  or  goat  and  bathes  it  in  the 
river.  He  marks  its  horns  and  forehead  with  red  lead.  He 
recites  an  incantation  :  "  O  goddess,  I  sacrifice  this  goat  to 
thee  that  I  may  live  in  thy  heaven  to  the  end  of  ten  years." 
He  then  whispers  another  incantation  in  the  ear  of  the  victim, 
and  puts  flowers  and  sprinkles  water  on  its  head.  The 
1  Ward,  vol.  ii.  xxxiv  2  Ibid.,  p.  89.  3  Ibid.,  p.  47. 


INDIAN  ZODIAC. 


337 


instrument  with  which  the  animal  is  killed  is  also  consecrated 
with  red  lead,  flowers,  and  incantations.  A  blessing,  in  the 
shape  of  a  flower,  is  given  to  the  poor  victim.  Mr.  Ward  (an 
eye-witness)  gives  a  graphic  description  of  one  of  these 
animal  sacrifices  :  "  In  the  area  were  the  animals  devoted  to 
the  sacrifice,  and  also  the  executioner.  About  twenty  persons 
were  in  attendance  to  throw  the  animal  down  and  hold  it  to 
the  post  whilst  the  head  was  being  cut  off.  The  goats  were 
sacrificed  first,  then  the  buffaloes,  and  last  of  all  two  or  three 
rams.  In  order  to  secure  the  animals,  ropes  were  fastened 
round  their  legs.  They  were  then  thrown  down  and  the  neck 
placed  in  a  piece  of  wood  fastened  into  the  ground,  and  made 
open  at  the  top  like  the  space  between  the  prongs  of  a  fork. 
After  the  animal's  neck  was  fastened  in  the  wood  by  a  peg 
which  passed  over  it,  the  men  who  held  it  pulled  forcibly  at 
the  heels,  while  the  executioner,  with  a  broad  heavy  axe,  cut 
off  the  head  at  one  blow.  The  heads  were  carried  in  an 
elevated  posture  by  an  attendant  (dancing  as  he  went),  the 
blood  running  down  him  on  all  sides,  into  the  presence  of 

the  goddess The  heads   and  blood  of  the  animals,  as 

well  as  different  meat  offerings,  are  presented  with  incantations 
as  a  feast  to  the  goddess,  after  which  clarified  butter  is  burnt 
on  a  prepared  altar  of  sand.  Never  did  I  see  men  enter  so 
eagerly  into  the  shedding  of  blood,  nor  do  I  think  any 
butchers  could  slaughter  animals  more  expertly.  The  place 
literally  swam  with  blood.  The  bleating  of  the  animals,  the 
numbers  slain,  and  the  ferocity  of  the  people  employed, 
actually  made  me  unwell.  I  returned  about  midnight  filled 
with  horror  and  indignation."  l 

Durga  is  worshipped  as  the  smiling  goddess  of  summer  in 
September.  Indeed,  Maha  Lakshmi,2  the  great  goddess  of 
fortune,  is  one  of  her  names.  Her  offerings  are  more  bloody 
as  Kali,  or  the  black  half-year.  A  native  told  our  good  mis 
sionary  that  he  had  sacrificed  as  many  as  108  buffaloes  to  her. 
Mr.  Ward  records  also  that  65,535  animals  were  butchered  at 
one  feast  by  the  father  of  the  then  reigning  King  of  Nadiya. 

Similar  ceremonies  take   place   all    through  the   festival. 
1  Ward,  vol.  ii.  p.  123,  also  p.  90.  2  Ibid.,  p.  115. 

Z 


338  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Each  day,  the  goddess,  during  her  supposed  visit  to  earth,  is 
fed,  washed,  etc.  Each  day,  dancing  girls  go  through  certain 
sedate  pantomimic  gestures  in  her  presence.  They  raise  their 
hands.  They  turn  slowly  round.  They  bow  gracefully  to  the 
goddess  from  time  to  time,  according  to  the  cadences  of  the 
rude  native  music.  Mr.  Ward  and  the  old  missionaries  used  to 
pronounce  their  dances  very  indecent ;  modern  Anglo-Indians 
cannot  see  why.  All  rites,  no  doubt,  in  old  days  signified 
the  mystic  marriage  of  spirit  and  matter.  Other  dances  in 
this  feast,  of  a  Bacchic  type,  are  performed  by  naked  men 
smeared  with  the  bloody  mud  of  the  sacrifice  ground,  and 
lashed  into  a  mystic  frenzy  with  spirits  and  bhang.  On  the 
last  day  of  the  festival,  the  goddess  is  shipped  on  board  two 
boats  lashed  together  and  manned  with  musicians,  singers, 
and  naked  male  dancers.  The  priest  addresses  her— 

"  O  goddess,  I  have  to  the  best  of  my  ability  worshipped 
thee.  Now  go  to  thy  residence,  leaving  this  blessing,  that 
thou  wilt  return  the  next  year." 

The  tinsel  idol  of  the  goddess  is  then  drowned  in  the 
sacred  Ganges. 

This  allows  us  to  understand  a  hymn  of  the  "  Rig  Veda." 
The  half-year  is  addressing  her  rival — 

"  I  tender  that  vigorous  tree  by  means  of  which  one  kills 
her  rival  and  gains  a  spouse. 

"  Strong  and  happy  tree,  fostered  by  devas  (spirits),  thou 
puttest  forth  thy  broad  leaves.  Let  me  see  my  rival  leave 
my  house,  and  my  husband  be  all  my  own. 

"  Great  tree,  I  also  am  great,  greater  than  all  that  is  great, 
as  my  rival  is  baser  than  all  that  is  base.  I  name  her  not. 
She  is  not  of  our  race.  We  will  speed  my  rival  to  a  far-off 
land."1 

In  these  few  verses  we  have  many  epics  in  epitome. 

THE  BALANCE. 

The  Balance  in  the  earliest  times  in  India  was,  I  feel  con 
vinced,  the  bird   Garuda  depicted   like  the  winged  sun  and 
serpents  in  Egypt  and  Persia,  as  the  following  passage  in  the 
1  "  Rig  Veda,"  viii.  8.  3.  i. 


INDIAN  ZODIAC, 


339 


"  Mahabharata  "  shows  : — "  Carried  on  the  back  of  Garuda,  the 
glad  serpents  bathed  in  the  clouds  of  Indra  promptly  alighted 
on  the  shores  of  an  island." 1  This  by-and-by  with  the 
Buddhists  became  the  mani  or  trisul  outline.  (See  the  Scales 
in  the  old  Buddhist  zodiac,  Plate  IV.  p.  119). 


"I" 


Fig.  23. 

In  the  "  Rig  Veda,"  Garuda  is  Garatman. 

I  give  from  Buddha  Gaya  a  bas-relief  of  Garuda  changing 
from  one  to  the  other. 

I  give  also  from  the  "Asiatic  Researches"  the  mani  changing 
into  the  scales. 


Fig.  24, 

SCORPIO  AND  SAGITTARIUS. 

Sagittarius  is  Indra,  and  the  myth  is  that  Vritra  (Scorpio) 
had  stolen  the  celestial  cows  (Taurus)  and  had  hid  them  in  a 
cavern  (the  wintry  half-year). 

"  Maghavan  [Indra]  has  taken  the  lightning,  which  he  is 
about  to  let  fly  like  an  arrow."2 

1  "Adi  Parva,"  v.  1305.  a  "  Rig  Veda/'  ii.  13.  3. 


340  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"Indra  has  struck  Vritra,  the  most  cloudlike  of  his 
enemies." 1 

"  Surrounded  by  his  army  [the  maruts,  or  winds],  Indra 
has  taken  his  quiver  and  his  arrows.  He  is  the  Arya  who 
conducts  his  cows  whither  he  will.  .  .  .  This  is  why  thou  hast 
smitten  with  thy  weapon  Vritra,  the  robber  charged  with  his 
booty.  This  is  why  thou  hast  attacked  him,  the  maruts 
being  at  hand.  Under  the  shafts  from  thy  bow  the  Sanacas 
have  died  many  deaths.  They  have  perished,  those  foul  men 
who  perform  no  sacrifices.  .  .  . 

"  He  has  beaten  in  the  door  of  that  cavern  where  Vritra 
held  the  waters  shut  up.  Indra  has  torn  to  pieces  Suchna 
with  his  horrid  horns." 2 

"  These  waters,  the  celestial  cows,  were  imprisoned  by  the 
miserly  one  (Pani).  They  had  become  the  wives  of  a  vile 
enemy."  3 

The  rainbow  is  called  Indra  Dhanus  (the  bow  of  Indra). 

It  is  worthy  of  remark  that  the  upanishads,  which  the 
"  Atharva  Veda " 4  calls  the  higher  wisdom  of  Brahminic 
teaching,  are  constantly  using  this  simile  of  the  bow— 

"  Seizing  the  bow  found  in  the  upanishads,  the  strongest 
of  weapons,  man  shall  draw  the  arrow  (of  the  soul)  sharpened 
by  the  constant  application  of  mind,  to  God."  £ 

The  word  O.M.,  signifying  God,  is  represented  as  the  bow. 
The  soul  is  the  arrow,  and  the  Supreme  Being  its  aim.6 
Buddha  is  said  to  have  attained  to  the  state  of  jinendra 
(Indra  the  Conqueror)  in  the  "  Sapta  Buddha  Stotra."  The 
Buddhist  sign  of  the  bow  is  made  with  the  vertebrae  of  the 
fleshless  mystic. 

Amongst  the  early  Christian  mysteries  or  miracle-plays  is 
a  pretty  little  drama  where  Abraham  and  Ephrem  are  hermits 
in  a  forest.  A  beautiful  young  girl,  named  Mary,  is  entrusted 
to  the  care  of  the  former,  her  uncle,  who  points  out  to  her 
that  the  word  Mary  means  the  star  of  the  sea.  It  is  ever 
aloft  in  the  sky  as  a  guide  to  mariners.  This  means  that  it 

1  "Rig  Veda,"  ii.  13.  5.  2  Ibid.,  iii.  portions  of  hymn  i. 

3  Ibid.,  13.  11.  4  "Rammohim  Roy,"  trans,  p.  28. 


"  Mundaka  Upanishad,"  cited  p.  34.  6  Ibid. 


INDIAN  ZODIAC.  341 

never  sinks  into  the  contaminating  earth,  as  do  the  other  stars, 
at  least  in  appearance.  Therefore  Mary  must  mean  chastity. 
A  small  hermitage  is  constructed  for  the  young  girl ;  but  one 
day  it  is  found  empty.  Abraham  is  in  consternation,  for  he 
has  had  a  terrible  dream.  A  beautiful  white  dove  was  at 
tacked  by  a  serpent,  and  slain  and  eaten.  The  dove,  of 
course,  is  the  pure  white  soul  of  Mary.  Ephrem  is  also  in 
great  straits  ;  but  Abraham  has  been  consoled  by  a  second 
vision.  Again  the  white  dove  was  seen,  but  this  time  the 
serpent  lay  dead  beside  it.  Abraham,  in  disguise,  goes  off  in 
quest  of  Mary,  and  by-and-by  discovers  her  at  a  house  of 
infamy.  His  gentleness  wins  her  to  penitence,  and  she  re 
turns  with  him  to  the  hermitage.  Here  we  have  all  the 
ancient  mysteries  of  the  world  in  epitome.  Far  from  being 
meaningless,  as  some  modern  writers  contest,  they  were  de 
signed  to  inculcate  a  truth,  the  highest  that  man  is  capable  of 
receiving.  This  was  that  it  is  impossible  to  know  God  with 
out  an  experience  of  the  non-god.  It  is  impracticable  to  try 
to  know  the  spiritual  life  without  an  experience  of  the  material 
life.  Lofty  ideals  must  be  prefaced  by  low  ideals.  All  pro 
gress  comes  from  reaction.  Without  the  conviction  of  error 
we  cannot  gain  knowledge.  Without  sin  how  can  we  gain 
purity  and  compunction  ?  The  mission  of  Sorrow,  a  name  of 
Ceres  and  also  of  the  Indian  Mother,  is  to  teach  us  happiness. 
The  old  mystics  viewed  the  soul  as  "  buried  in  a  sepulchre,"  l 
the  body.  It  had  to  ''descend  to  Hades,"  to  "be  plunged  in 
matter." 2  Hades  was  the  wintry  half-year,  presided  over  by 
Rudra  or  Typhon.  The  crucial  ordeal  was  necessary  before 
the  divine  wisdom  could  be  attained.  "  Men,"  said  Ficinus, 
cited  by  T.  Taylor,  "  were  engaged  in  the  delusion  of  dreams, 
and  if  they  happened  to  die  in  this  sleep  before  they  were 
roused,  they  would  be  afflicted  with  similar  and  still  sharper 
visions  in  a  future  state."  3 

It  will  be  seen  that  in  all  the  Indian  mystery  stories  the 
progress  of  the  mystic  is  from  the  light  half-year  to  the  dark 

1  "  Clement  of  Alexandria,"  Strom,  bk.  iii. 

2  "  Plotinus  Ennead,"  I.  bk.  viii. 

3  T.  Taylor,  "  Eleusinian  Mysteries,"  p.  13. 


342  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

half-year,  and  that  the  higher  presentments  of  divinity,  Hari 
(the  Blue  One),  or  Vishnu,  Rama,  Krishna  (the  Black  One), 
Kali  or  Krishna  (the  Black  Female),  Varuna  and  Indra,  and 
Siva  or  Rudra,  are  all  in  the  black  half  of  the  zodiac,  and 
most  of  them  are  painted  blue-black,  the  colour  of  night.  It 
means  that  the  daylight  of  the  material  eye  is  the  darkness 
of  the  soul.  At  night,  heaven's  own  lamps  glitter. 


(     343     ) 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

Eleusis— Similarity  between  the  Story  of  Rama  and  the  Story  of  Bacchus 
—Other  Points  of  Contact  between  the  Indian  and  Eleusinian 
Mysteries. 

ELEUSIS. 

THE  sun  is  aglow  in  bright  September,  and  a  vast  procession 
is  issuing  from  the  "  Sacred  Gate  "  at  Athens.  This  "  Sacred 
Gate  "  leads  along  the  "  Sacred  Way,"  and  the  "  Sacred  Way  " 
conducts  over  a  low  hill  covered  with  oleander  bushes  to  the 
little  town  of  Eleusis,  which  sparkles  on  the  cobalt  rim  of 
the  sea  at  a  distance  of  ten  miles.  It  is  the  period  of  the 
Eleusinian  mysteries,  celebrated  every  four  years.  The  copper 
drums  sound  out,  and  the  trumpets  and  flutes  are  loud. 

The  crowd  is  immense,  thirty  thousand  at  least ;  all  ini 
tiates.  Death  is  the  penalty  of  appearing  in  the  procession 
without  having  trodden  on  the  Dios  Kodion.  The  /uvarai  march 
along  proud  of  their  garlands.  More  proud  are  the  tVoTrrm, 
those  who  know  the  aporrheta,  or  secret  meaning  of  the  rites. 
They  have  eaten  out  of  the  mystic  "  Drum."  They  have  held 
the  "  Vase "  in  their  hands.  They  have  perused  the  secrets 
of  the  Petroma,  the  two  tables  of  stone.  They  flaunt  their 
white  robes  and  bear  proud  myrtle  on  their  brows.  A  mono 
tonous  low  chant,  such  as  we  hear  in  Indian  festivals,  goes  up 
into  the  balmy  air,  recounting  the  woes  of  the  goddess  whose 
mystic  name  is  "  Sorrow."  Dancers  dance.  Actors  play  pan 
tomimes  on  the  car  of  Thespis.  On  goes  the  vast  crowd  to 
the  "  Sacred  Fig  Tree,"  the  first  solemn  stage  of  the  mystic 
pilgrimage. 

And  now,  amid  a  louder  clash  of  cymbals  and  the  blare  of 


344  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

trumpets,  comes  a  solemn  car,  preceded  by  chanting  priests. 
On  it  is  the  statue  of  a  young  man  cut  out  in  the  whitest 
Pentelica  marble.  His  limbs  are  the  limbs  that  we  know 
later  as  those  of  Apollo,  not  those  of  the  tippling  Bacchus. 
His  face  is  of  rare  beauty.  In  his  hand  is  a  lighted  torch, 
and  nothing  else.  The  crowd  call  out  his  name.  It  is  the 
young  Bacchus,  the  son  of  Jove,  he  who,  torch  in  hand,  sought 
his  mother,  Proserpine,  in  the  regions  of  gloom.  He  is  the 
"divine  child"  of  all  mysteries,  the  son  of  spirit  and  matter, 
the  awakened  soul.  At  the  date  of  the  holy  festival  of  the 
Sacred  Fig  Tree,  he  leaves  the  rich  temple  of  Athens  for  the 
gloomy  caverns  of  the  rock-cut  temple  of  Eleusis. 

Sir  William  Jones,  in  the  "  Asiatic  Researches/'  vol.  ii.  p. 
132,  has  pointed  out  that  the  Greek  Bacchus  is  Rama.  It  is 
recorded  of  him  that  he  conquered  India  with  an  army  of 
satyrs,  beings  half-men  half-goats,  led  by  Pan,  These  are 
plainly  Hanuman  and  his  monkeys,  who  also  conquered  India. 
Ceres  is  the  Indian  Sri.  Jove,  according  to  Max  Miiller,  is 
the  Sanskrit  Dhyaus  (Gk.,  Zeus),  with  the  Sanscrit  Pitar 
(father).  May  we  not  add  that  Demeter  is  probably  Diva 
Matra,  the  divine  mother  ? 

The  stories  of  the  rape  of  Sita  and  the  rape  of  Proser 
pine  are  practically  the  same,  the  two  narratives  supplement 
ing  each  other.  This  latter  goddess  was  the  daughter  of 
Jupiter  and  Ceres.  One  day,  as  she  was  gathering  flowers, 
she  was  seized  by  Pluto  and  carried  to  his  gloomy  cavern. 
This  was  conveniently  placed  by  the  ancients  close  to  the 
mountain  in  Sicily  that  belches  subterranean  flames.  Her 
cries  of  agony  were  heard  by  Hecate  and  Helios,  but  the 
mother  only  heard  the  echo.  Instantly  she  forsook  her 
husband  and  went  off  in  search  of  her  daughter.  Iris  was 
despatched  to  bid  her  return  to  Olympus,  but  she  refused. 
Soon  a  mighty  famine  began  to  rage,  for  the  angry  mother 
forbade  the  earth  to  bear  fruit.  In  this  desperate  strait,  Zeus 
commanded  Pluto  to  restore  Proserpine.  The  God  of  Dark 
ness  complied,  but  he  gave  her  a  pomegranate  to  eat  to  force 
her  to  return  to  his  kingdom  from  time  to  time.  It  was  fixed 
at  last  that  for  six  months  of  the  year  she  should  dwell  with 


ELEUSIS.  345 

Pluto,  and  for  six  months  she  should  visit  the  realms  of  light. 
During  her  sojourn  on  earth,  Demeter  dwelt  at  Eleusis,  and 
taught  the  mysteries  in  that  city. 

This  story,  according  to  Clement,  was  told  dramatically  at 
the  Eleusinian  mysteries.  They  seem  to  have  been  more  like 
the  great  pilgrimages  to  Chitra  Kuta  than  real  initiations.  It 
was  the  pantomime  of  a  pantomime  of  Rama's  life.  We  hear 
of  seven  caverns  of  darkness  and  seven  caverns  of  light,  but 
these  were  probably  for  more  serious  occult  training.  The 
author  of  the  article  on  the  mysteries  in  the  new  "  Encyclo 
paedia  Britannica  "  suggests  that  the  real  flashing  of  light  was 
the  entry  to  the  great  temple.  A  moonless  night  was  selected, 
and  the  crowd  stood  in  the  gloom  of  the  great  sea.  Then 
millions  of  tapers  were  lit,  and  the  hill  paths  glittered  with 
them.  Then  came  the  splendid  interior  of  the  temple,  a  vast 
pile,  with  its  lights,  music,  statues,  pantomime.  Beautiful 
women  presented  Proserpine  and  her  train  as  in  India;  and 
we  have  hints  that  such  episodes  as  Baubo  denudata l  and  the 
divine  hymeneals  were  too  faithfully  rendered.  Does  not  the 
missionary  Ward  hint  the  same  thing  of  the  Indian  festival  ? 
There  are  epochs  of  prudery  and  epochs  before  the  epochs  of 
prudery,  and  rites  are  stubborn  things. 

"  I  have  fasted.  I  have  drunk  the  cyceon.  I  have  taken 
out  of  the  cista  and  placed  that  which  I  took  into  the 
calathus.  I  have  taken  out  of  the  calathus  and  placed  that 
which  I  took  into  the  cista.  The  bed  I  have  entered  ! " 

This  was  the  supreme  formula.  The  calathus  was  a 
basket  containing  the  fruits  of  Ceres,  or  earth.  The  cista  was 
a  chest  with  an  egg  and  the  Indian  symbols  of  natural  repro 
duction.  The  meaning  has  been  variously  interpreted.  It 
meant,  I  think,  the  birth  of  the  torch-bearing  Bacchus,  the 
spiritual  man,  and  the  substitution  of  immortal  food— the  food 
of  Proserpine  for  that  of  Ceres — barley  cakes  and  a  mullet 
The  Atoc  KW&OV,  "  Jupiter's  skin,"  was  the  skin  of  a  victim— 
a  calf.  An  Indian  rite  may  throw  some  light  on  this. 

The  Diksha  ceremony  may  be  called  a  drama  in  which 
the  processes  of  nature  are  reproduced.     The   candidate   is 
1  "  Eleusinian  and  Bacchic  Mysteries,"  by  T.  Taylor,  p.  16. 


346  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

smeared  with  water  and  butter,  and  placed  in  a  spot  that 
represents  the  mother's  womb.  They  cover  him  with  a  cloth 
which  represents  the  caul.  Outside  the  cloth  is  wrapped  an 
antelope's  skin  (the  placenta).  The  initiates  of  Eleusis  were 
enveloped  in  a  calf's  skin.  The  Dikshita  Vimita,  where  the 
initiate  lies,  is  probably  the  Pastos,  the  bed,  the  coffin  of  the 
old  mysteries.  In  it  the  initiate  lies  with  closed  hands  like  a 
child  in  the  womb.  In  his  hands  he  is  supposed  to  hold  "  all 
the  deities."  When  the  proper  moment  arrives  he  is  taken 
out  of  the  Dikshita  Vimita,  the  antelope's  skin,  or  placenta, 
is  removed,  and  he  is  bathed, 


(     347     ) 


CHAPTER   XXV. 

The  Legend  of  Osiris— The  Novice  Utanka— Hiram  Abif. 

THE  LEGEND  OF  OSIRIS. 

"  I  AM  Osiris,  who  led  a  large  and  numerous  army  as  far  as 
the  deserts  of  India,  and  travelled  over  the  greater  part  of  the 
world."  This  old  Egyptian  inscription  is  important.  The 
Greeks  admit  that  they  derived  the  story  of  Bacchus  and 
the  rape  of  Proserpine  from  the  mysteries  of  Osiris  ;  and  here 
again  we  have  the  conquest  of  India  as  the  chief  feature  of  a 
conqueror's  life. 

Osiris  and  Isis,  according  to  Plutarch,  were  brother  and 
sister.  They  were  also  husband  and  wife,  for  two  stars,  many 
millions  of  miles  apart,  can  commit  incest  without  shame. 
They  were  the  twins  of  the  zodiac,  and  so  were  Osiris  and  his 
wicked  brother  Typhon. 

Osiris,  leaving  his  brother  in  charge  of  his  kingdom,  like 
the  Indian  Rama,  set  out  on  his  career  of  conquest.  Every 
where  he  spread  the  knowledge  of  agriculture,  and  gave 
salutary  laws.  His  conquering  army  was  an  army  of  satyrs, 
led  by  Pan.  In  his  absence,  his  brother  stirred  up  the  people 
against  him,  and  hatched  an  infamous  plot.  At  a  great  feast 
given  by  the  Queen  of  Ethiopia,  Osiris  was  inveigled  into 
making  an  attempt  to  get  into  a  strange  coffer  that  was 
brought  into  the  banquet.  He  was  then  locked  up  in  this  and 
pitched  into  the  Nile.  Isis  wandered  away  in  search  of  her 
husband's  body,  and,  guided  by  the  doleful  cries  of  the  satyrs, 
discovered  it  near  Byblos  ;  but  Typhon  stole  it  away  from 
her  and  cut  it  into  fourteen  pieces.  Of  these  pieces,  Isis,  by- 
and-by,  recovered  all  except  the  genitals,  and  had  a  splendid 


348  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

pyramid  built  over  each.  "A  temple  unrivalled  in  the  world," 
says  Dupuis,  "  was  erected  in  honour  of  the  missing  portion." 
This  is  the  great  pyramid,  and  in  it  is  the  mysterious  king's 
chamber  and  the  empty  sarcophagus.  The  legend  in  this 
part  is  plainly  framed  to  account  for  the  worship  of  the 
Indian  lingam.  Sir  W.  Jones  thought  that  the  words  Osiris 
and  Isis  were  the  Sanskrit  Iswara  and  Isi.  Other  writers  in 
the  old  days  derived  the  Egyptian  religion  from  India,  notably 
M.  Chevalier,  an  ex-governor  of  Chandernagore.  Familiar 
with  the  ancient  rock  temples  of  India,  he  visited  the  similar 
rock  temples  that  are  to  be  found  in  Egypt,  and  pronounced 
that  the  similarity  between  them  was  too  minute  to  be 
accounted  for  by  any  other  theory  than  direct  derivation.1  It 
was  held  that  both  sets  of  temples  must  have  been  erected 
at  least  two  thousand  years  before  Christ. 

These  opinions  have  been  altered  by  modern  authorities. 
It  is  admitted  that  the  rock  temples  of  Philse  must  have  been 
erected  at  least  two  thousand  years  before  Christ,  but  the 
similar  temples  in  India  were  constructed  two  thousand  five 
hundred  years  later. 

As  the  mystical  story  of  Buddha  was  thought  by  Cole- 
brooke  to  be  derived  from  the  story  of  Rama,  I  will  say 
a  brief  word  on  this,  because,  if  we  can  connect  thus  closely 
Rama  with  the  early  Greek  and  Egyptian  mysteries,  the 
theory  that  the  story  of  Buddha  is  derived  from  the  Nestorian 
Christians  falls  through.  Anthropology  tells  us  that  the 
earliest  man  was  a  cave-man.  For  hundreds,  perhaps  thou 
sands,  of  years  he  knew  nothing  of  agriculture,  or  how  to  clear 
the  jungle.  Like  a  beast,  he  dwelt  in  a  natural  cave  and  lived 
by  hunting.  His  first  attempt  at  architecture  was  to  scrape 
and  enlarge  this  natural  cave. 

This  gives  us  the  raison  d'etre  of  the  rock  temple.  It  takes 
the  natural  form  of  quarrying,  as  Mr.  Gwilt  has  shown.  And 
in  his  ignorance  of  the  arch,  man  was  obliged  to  carve  his  first 
detached  temple  inside  a  mountain,  and  then  cut  the  moun 
tain  away.  'Tis  thus  that  Mr.  Gwilt  accounts  for  the  charac 
teristics  of  the  earlier  Egyptian  temples. 

1  Savary,  "  Lettres  sur  1'Egypte,"  ii.  p.  178. 


OSIRIS.  349 

"The  simplicity,  not  to  say  monotony,  its  extreme  solidity, 
almost  heaviness,  forms  its  principal  characters.  Then  the 
want  of  profile  and  paucity  of  its  members,  the  small  pro 
jection  of  its  mouldings,  the  absence  of  apertures,  the  enor 
mous  diameter  of  the  columns  employed  much  resembling 
the  pillars  left  in  quarrying  for  support,  the  pyramidal  form 
of  the  doors,  the  omission  of  roofs  and  pediments,  the  ignorance 
of  the  arch  ...  all  enable  us  to  recur  to  the  type  from  which 
we  have  set  out."  1 

The  colossal  sphinxes  and  enormous  obelisks  were  con 
structed  also  by  cutting  away  rocks  and  hills.  The  obelisk 
was  then  moved  in  one  solid  piece.  One  obelisk,  some  93 
feet  high,  was  brought  to  Karnac,  a  distance  of  138  miles. 
Sculpture,  too,  throws  its  light  on  this  early  period.  The 
earliest  form  of  the  art  developed  out  of  columns  and  blocks 
of  stone.  "  The  addition  of  heads,"  says  Westmacott,  "  and 
then  of  feet  and  hands— the  latter  close  to  the  sides,  and 
the  legs  united  like  columns — formed  probably  the  earliest 
attempts  at  giving  such  objects  a  human  form."  2 

India  is  par  excellence  the  land  of  cave  temples,  rock 
caverns  in  all  stages  of  progress,  natural  caves  smoothed  and 
enlarged,  temples  without  carving  or  statues,  temples  with 
plain  octagonal  columns,  temples  splendidly  carved,  enormous 
temples  cut  out  of  the  mountain  and  detached.  Also  she  has 
her  stambhas  or  obelisks,  her  colossal  bulls  all  formed  by  cut 
ting  away  rocks  and  mountains  ;  and  her  statues  with  legs 
united  and  arms  glued  to  the  side. 

Such  is  the  colossal  statue  at  Sravana  Belgula,  seen  by  the 
Duke  of  Wellington.  It  is  seventy  feet  in  height,  and  a 
mountain  was  cut  away  to  form  it.  Such  are  similar  human 
statues  at  Karkala  and  Yannur.3  This  seems  to  point  to 
processes  similar  to  those  in  Egypt  and  Greece.  But  here 
our  Indian  authorities  step  in.  These  dark  caverns  with 
enormous  columns  that  take  the  form  of  quarrying,  these 
colossal  bulls  cut  out  of  a  mountain,  these  masses  of  stone, 

1  Gwilt,  "  Encyclopaedia  of  Architecture,"  p.  30. 

2  "  Handbook  of  Sculpture,"  p.  87. 

3  Fergusson,  "  Indian  Architecture,"  p.  268. 


350  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

half  column,  half  man,  are  not  due  in  India  to  the  tentative 
processes  of  the  cave-man  at  least  2000  B.C.  India  first 
learnt  to  build  temples  in  the  plain  about  500  B.C.,  to  cut 
stone,  and  to  carve  a  detached  human  figure  as  seen  at 
Sanchi.  After  that,  she  adopted  the  crude  art  of  the  cavern- 
builder.  A  clever  but  self-opinionated  architect,  Mr.  Fer- 
gusson,  has  ruled  this,  and  all  defer  to  him. 

For  principal  evidence  he  points  to  the  rails  and  gates  of 
King  Asoka's  dolmens  or  tumuli  (Bharhut,  200  B.C.  ;  Buddha 
Gaya,  250  B.C.).  He  gives  elaborate  drawings  to  show  that 
their  stone  rails  and  gateways  imitate  woodwork.  On  this 
he  builds  up  the  somewhat  large  superstructure  that  India 
knew  nothing  of  stone-cutting  until  a  short  time  before  this 
period,  and  that  here  we  catch  the  art  in  the  process  of 
change.  But  I  fail  to  see  that  Mr.  Fergusson's  inferences  are 
warranted  by  his  facts.  The  dolmen  was  the  earliest  building 
known  to  the  Arya  when  he  emerged  from  his  cave.  It  was 
his  dwelling,  his  tomb,  his  temple.  With  its  circle  of  mono 
liths  it  was  the  Indian  temple  before  Asoka.  The  rails  and 
gates  represented  the  confines  and  gates  of  paradise  in  the 
rites.  Nothing  is  so  conservative  as  religious  symbolism,  and 
this  pattern  may  have  been  settled  a  thousand  years  before 
Asoka.  Dr.  Rajendra  Lala  Mitra,  in  his  work  on  Orissa,  has 
shown  that  the  stone  cutting  of  the  pillars  of  Asoka  betrays 
not  crudeness,  but  efflorescence.  Indeed,  the  rails  and  gates 
of  Bharhut  and  Sanchi  remind  one  of  the  pattern  of  a  Chinese 
card-case.  Not  an  inch  of  marble  can  be  found  without 
lotuses,  elephants,  peacocks,  winged  horses.  That  Indian 
artists  should  have  returned  from  such  overdone  efflorescence 
to  a  severe  rock  temple  with  no  carving  at  all  save  one 
gigantic  stone  canopy  for  a  high  altar  is  inconceivable. 

Most  of  the  rock  temples  exhibit  figures  of  Buddha.  This 
perhaps,  has  chiefly  produced  the  idea  that  they  are  modern, 
One  or  two  points  suggest  themselves  which  make  me  think 
too  much  has  been  made  of  this. 

i.  The  figure  of  Buddha,  a  naked  man  with  woolly  hair, 
is  quite  different  from  the  Buddha  of  the  early  topes.  Major 
Keith  tells  me  that  it  is  unknown  at  Sanchi. 


OSIRIS.  351 

2.  These  rock  temples,  said  to  be  Buddhist,  are  far,  far 
away  from  the  Buddhist  holy  land.     No  such  temples  -have 
been  erected  in  any  of  the  hilly  country  in  the  chief  centres 
of  the  cultus. 

3.  The  Brahmins  assert  that  they  erected  these  temples, 
and  that  the  Buddhists  took  them  over.     They  say  that  the 
figure  presumed  to  be  Buddha  is  Parisnath. 

4.  The  most  conspicuous  figures  in  some  of  the  Buddhist 
topes  are  Brahmin  gods. 

5.  Another  important  point  remains. 

Mr.  Mackenzie  gives  from  Lassen's  "  Indische  Alterthum 
skunde  "  an  account  of  the  Indian  initiation  in  the  mysteries. 
It  has  this  advantage,  that  it  is  written  by  a  Freemason  to 
show  how  close  a  likeness  there  is  between  the  Indian  initia 
tion  and  that  of  Freemasons.1 

At  eight  years  of  age,  the  child  girded  on  the  sacred  cord. 
For  the  "  Fellow-craft  degree  of  the  Mason,"  as  Mr.  Mac 
kenzie  calls  it,  the  disciple  "was  led  into  a  gloomy  cavern  in 
which  the  aporrheta  were  to  be  displayed  to  him.  Here  a 
striking  similarity  to  the  Masonic  system  may  be  found." 
Three  chief  officers  or  hierophants  "are  seated  in  the  east, 
west,  and  south,  attended  by  their  respective  subordinates. 
After  an  invocation  to  the  sun,  an  oath  was  demanded  of  the 
aspirant  to  the  effect  of  implicit  obedience  to  superiors,  purity 
of  body,  and  inviolable  secrecy.  Water  was  then  sprinkled 
over  him,  he  was  deprived  of  his  sandals  or  shoes,  and  was 
made  to  circumambulate  the  cavern  thrice  with  the  sun. 
Suitable  addresses  were  then  made  to  him,  after  which  he 
was  conducted  through  seven  ranges  of  caverns  in  utter  dark 
ness,  and  the  lamentations  of  Mahadevi,  or  the  great  goddess, 
for  the  loss  of  Siva,  similar  to  the  waitings  of  Isis  for  Osiris, 
were  imitated.  After  a  number  of  impressive  ceremonies,  the 
initiate  was  suddenly  admitted  into  an  apartment  of  dazzling 
light,  redolent  with  perfume  and  radiant  with  all  the  gorgeous 
beauty  of  the  Indian  clime,  alike  in  flowers,  perfumes,  and 
gems.  This  represented  the  Hindu  paradise,  the  acme  of  all 
earthly  bliss.  This  was  supposed  to  constitute  the  regenera- 
1  "Royal  Masonic  Cyclopaedia,"  sub  voce  "Mysteries  of  Hindostan." 


352  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

tion  of  the  candidate,  and  he  was  now  invested  with  the 
white  robe  and  the  tiara.  A  peculiar  cross  was  marked  on 
his  forehead  and  the  Tau  cross  on  his  breast ;  upon  which  he 
was  instructed  in  the  peculiar  signs,  tokens,  and  doctrines 
of  his  order.  He  was  presented  with  the  sacred  girdle,  the 
magical  black  stone,  the  talismanic  jewel  for  his  breast,  and 
the  serpent  stone  which  guaranteed  him  from  the  effects  of 
poison.  Finally,  he  was  given  the  sacred  word,  A.U.M." 

To  obtain  the  third  degree,  it  was  necessary  to  practise 
tapas  in  a  forest.  In  the  "fourth  degree,  the  Brahmin  was, by 
peculiar  ceremonies,  conjoined  with  the  divinity." 

It  is  plain  that  we  have  the  seven  dark  and  the  seven 
light  caverns  of  the  mysteries  of  Ceres,  and  the  question  is, 
From  what  country  did  this  idea  come  ?  The  great  temple 
of  Eleusis  was  apparently  a  great  cave  temple,  but  it  was 
solitary.  "  Egypt  proper,"  says  Mr.  Fergusson,  "  has  no  rock- 
cut  temples,  only  sepulchres."  The  rock-cut  temples  are  in 
Nubia.  In  the  west  of  India,  on  the  other  hand,  there  are 
cave  temples  innumerable. 

It  is  to  be  observed  also  that  these  temples,  though  they 
were  taken  over  by  the  Buddhists,  were  not  pre-eminently 
fitted  for  Buddhist  rites.  Mr.  Fergusson  calls  many  of  the 
caverns  viharas  or  monasteries,  and  the  side  chapels  or  caverns 
cells  for  the  monks.  Each  sanctuary  has  usually  a  number 
of  these,  seven  on  one  side  and  seven  on  the  other.  These 
would  do  admirably  for  the  caverns  of  initiation,  but  they  are 
not  at  all  like  the  cells  of  monks  as  described  in  Buddhist 
scriptures.  A  large  convent  had  some  ten  thousand  monks, 
and  these  were  usually  lodged  in  little  huts  of  boughs. 

To  go  back  to  Osiris,  I  must  here  point  out,  that  whilst 
the  stones  of  Buddha  and  Rama  fit  in  exactly  with  the 
zodiacal  career  of  the  mystic  working-up  through  six  stages  of 
animal  life  to  the  mystical  portal,  the  new  birth  in  the  womb 
of  the  Virgin  with  the  Lion  and  the  Fire  Dove,  the  story  of 
Osiris,  misfits  it  completely.  This  is  due  to  the  fact  that  the 
Egyptian  festivals  were  based  on  agriculture  by  the  aid  of 
the  Nile  inundation.  This  event  takes  place  about  June  3Oth. 
Then  comes  the  sowing  about  the  middle  of  October,  when 


OSIRIS.  353 

the  waters  have  subsided.  The  harvest  is  in  April,  the 
great  festival  of  Isis  or  agriculture,  and  this  festival  is  described 
by  Greek  writers  as  having  been  like  their  festivals  of  Ceres, 
with  lamentations  and  lights,  instead  of  flowers  and  joy  for  the 
new  year.  Then  came  the  festival  of  the  Nile  ;  and  when 
the  mystic  should  be  opposing  Scorpio  with  the  bow  of  Indra, 
the  sowing  festival  took  place. 

To  sum  up,  the  stories  of  Rama,  Osiris,  and  Bacchus, 
reveal  the  same  mysteries.  All  three  conquered  India  with 
an  army  of  animals  ;  the  pure  totemism  of  the  Indian  story 
giving  it  priority.  The  zodiacal  framework  fits  in  exactly 
with  the  Indian  rice  culture,  and  the  life  of  the  Indian  mystic. 
It  misfits  on  all  points  corn  culture  by  the  inundation  of  the 
Nile.  Its  main  features  are  in  the  hymns  of  the  "  Rig  Veda," 
the  earliest  surviving  hymns  of  the  world  ;  hymns  to  the 
horse,  to  the  bull,  to  the  twins  ;  hymns  to  the  mystic  mother, 
the  tree,  and  the  fire  dove  ;  hymns  detailing  the  great  battle 
of  the  mystic  with  the  roaring  storm-cloud,  a  feature  unknown 
in  Egypt  at  all.  The  cows  shut  up  by  the  god  of  winter  for 
six  months  in  the  cavern  may  point  to  the  experience  of  the 
poor  Aryan  cave-man  in  his  cavern  on  the  steeps  of  Hindu 
Kush  or  Cashmere. 

Also  in  the  zodiacal  framework  of  each  story  much  illus 
trates  and  explains  the  others.  The  Indian  feast  of  the  Tree 
is  the  half-way  house  in  the  life  of  the  mystic  ;  the  feast  of 
the  Greater  Mysteries  at  Eleusis.  At  this  period  we  have  the 
rape  of  Sita,  the  rape  of  Proserpine,  Osiris  shut  up  in  his  box, 
incidents  which  the  Greek  story  confesses  to  symbolize  the 
entry  to  Hades,  imaged  as  the  six  wintry  months.  At  that 
period  the  mystic  forsakes  his  animal  life  for  his  battle  with 
the  demoniacal  host — a  battle  to  terminate  only  under  the  sign 
chakra,the  terrible  discus  that  Rama  finally  flings  at  Ravana,the 
swastika,  the  only  cross  in  the  catacombs.  In  hoc  signo  vinces. 

Another  point  is  of  the  highest  importance.  We  now 
know  how  the  Indian  seeks  to  gain  psychic  powers.  The 
process  is  simply  by  the  will-power  of  the  yogi  developed 
patiently  in  solitude.  All  concomitants,  magic  stars  and 
talismans,  food  offerings  and  scent  offerings  to  spirits,  are  non- 

2  A 


354  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

essential,  although  perhaps  the  complete  discernment  of  this 
truth  may  be  due  to  Mesmer  or  some  other  modern  investi 
gator.  The  story  of  Rama  is  the  simple  story  of  a  mystic 
practising  yoga  under  a  tree.  The  battles  and  sieges  are 
mere  symbol,  and  in  the  Buddhist  version — for  the  Buddhists 
have  made  Rama  an  avatara  of  Buddha— are  omitted.  The 
pilgrimage  to  Chitra  Kuta  is  not  yoga,  but  the  histrionics  of 
yoga.  It  stands  to  reason  that  thirty  thousand  people 
spending  a  week  in  visiting  holy  fig-trees,  holy  ghauts,  the 
successive  spots  where  Rama  developed  his  powers,  would 
not  be  thirty  thousand  adepts  at  the  end  of  the  week,  although 
it  might  be  argued  that  the  pilgrimage  was  an  institution  use 
ful  in  suggesting,  and  also  in  concealing  psychic  knowledge. 
Now  at  Eleusis  we  get  not  yoga,  but  simply  the  pilgrimage 
presentment  of  yoga.  The  mystics  go  to  the  fig-tree  as  a 
sight  ;  Rama  sits  under  it  for  fifteen  years.  The  Temple  of 
Eleusis  is  said  to  have  been  built  1330  years  before  Christ, 
This  gives  a  very  early  date  to  Rama,  if  he  suggested  the 
mysteries  to  Egypt  as  well  as  Greece.  The  worship  of  Rama 
survives,  although  its  pedigree  may  be  so  stupendous.  In 
1882,  the  Indian  government,  in  collecting  cholera  statistics, 
discovered  that  three  millions  of  pilgrims  visited  Allahabad 
for  one  festival  in  that  year.  More  strange  still  is  the  fact 
that,  although  India  throws  such  curious  light  on  the  distant 
past,  no  one  hardly  cares  for  these  Indian  subjects  at  all. 

THE  INITIATION  OF  THE  NOVICE  UTANKA. 
I  will  here  give  an  episode  from  the  "  Mahabharata."  It 
gives  the  initiation  of  a  simple  ascetic,  without  the  usual 
account  of  the  conquest  of  evil  propensities  in  the  guise  of 
mailed  warriors.  Utanka  was  a  young  Brahmin,  dwelling  in 
the  forest  with  a  guru,  or  spiritual  guide,  named  Veda.  The 
novice  on  these  occasions  has  to  choose  a  sort  of  patron  god, 
like  Rama  or  Krishna.  He  must  then  conceive  his  guru  as 
an  incarnation  of  the  god,  and  perform  the  most  menial  offices 
to  him.  He  must  wash  his  feet  and  drink  some  of  the  water 
afterwards.  He  must  offer  him  flowers  and  treat  him  as  God 
Almighty  walking  on  the  earth. 


OSIRIS. 


355 


One  day,  a  king  visited  Veda  and  made  him  Archbrahmin 
of  the  palace.  Veda  left  Utanka  in  charge  of  the  hermitage 
and  departed.  Whilst  he  was  away,  the  wives  of  the  guru 
each  tempted  him  as  Joseph  was  tempted  by  Potiphar's  wife. 
In  the  same  way,  the  pretty  daughters  of  Mara  try  and  dis 
tract  the  tapas  of  Buddha,  and  the  phantom  of  Kotavi,  the 
naked  woman,  tries  to  thwart  Krishna.  This  ever-recurring 
incident  in  the  great  ordeal  of  the  mystic  may  have  been  only 
psychological,  as  in  the  case  of  St.  Augustine.  When  extasia 
supervenes  it  is  well  known  that  its  visions  often  appeal  thus 
grossly  to  the  senses.  But  I  cannot  help  thinking  that  when 
the  great  trial  of  the  mystic  became  formalized  into  a  scenic 
pantomime,  this  temptation  by  women  was  a  prominent 
feature.  Arjuna,  in  one  episode  of  the  "  Mahabharata,"  is 
tempted  in  Indra's  heaven  by  a  beautiful  Apsarasa.  The 
woman  in  each  case  is  man's  lower  nature. 

By-and-by  Veda  returns,  and  somehow  discovers  that  his 
pupil  has  resisted  temptation.  He  praises  Utanka,  and  offers 
to  put  a  term  to  his  noviciate.  Utanka  is  very  happy  with 
his  guru,  and  asks  leave  to  remain  with  him.  Veda  consents 
for  a  season. 

The  higher  initiation  is  introduced  in  this  form.  Veda 
orders  his  pupil  to  go  and  demand  the  earrings  of  the  queen. 
As  Libra  in  the  account  of  the  churning  of  the  ocean  is  called 
the  "Earrings  of  Aditi,"  the  meaning  of  this  is  not  far  to 
seek. 

"  If  you  get  them,"  says  the  guru,  "  you  will  gain  supreme 
happiness.  In  what  other  way  can  you  get  it  ?  " 

Utanka  departs  for  the  palace.  On  his  way  he  meets  a 
gigantic  being  mounted  on  a  Colossal  bull. 

"  Eat  the  dung  of  this  beast,  Utanka,  and  drink  its  urine," 
said  the  giant. 

"  I  cannot,"  replied  the  novice. 

"  Your  master,  Veda,  once  did  the  same  thing." 

This  unsavoury  initiation  is  still  practised  by  Brahmins 
and  the  followers  of  Zarathustra. 

Utanka  obeys.  He  then  pursues  his  path  and  reaches  the 
palace. 


356  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Give  me,  O  king,"  he  says,  "  the  earrings  of  the  queen, 
as  a  present  to  my  guru." 

"  Enter  the  women's  apartments,  O  holy  man,"  replied  the 
king,  "  and  ask  her  yourself." 

Utanka  enters  the  harem  and  searches  everywhere.  He 
cannot  find  the  queen. 

"  You  have  eaten  flesh-meat,  and  your  body  is  not  pure," 
says  the  king  in  explanation.  "  That  is  why  she  is  not  visible." 

Utanka  went  out  to  perform  the  ceremonial  of  purification. 
He  sate  down  on  the  ground  facing  the  east.  He  washed  his 
mouth,  his  feet,  his  hands.  He  drank  three  gulps  of  pure 
water.  He  returned  to  the  queen's  apartment.  This  time 
the  queen  was  visible. 

"  What  are  thy  commands,  O  holy  man  ?  " 

"  My  master  desires  the  queen's  earrings,"  said  the  novice. 

"  He  is  a  worthy  Brahmin,"  said  the  queen  graciously, 
"  I  cannot  disoblige  him."  But  in  giving  them,  she  cautioned 
him  to  beware  of  the  serpent  Takshaka.  This  serpent  had 
a  great  desire  to  get  the  queen's  earrings. 

Utanka  returned  home  overjoyed  with  his  new  possession. 
Passing  near  a  holy  tank  he  thought  it  right  to  purify  himself. 
A  naked  Brahmin  was  near,  who  apparently  possessed  great 
powers  of  yoga  or  magic,  for  he  appeared  and  disappeared  in 
a  most  marvellous  manner.  Utanka  plunged  into  the  water. 
The  Brahmin  seized  the  earrings  and  fled.  It  was  the  wily 
serpent  Takshaka  in  disguise. 

Utanka  sprung  out  of  the  water  and  pursued  him.  At 
the  very  moment  that  he  was  being  overtaken,  the  Brahmin 
changed  his  form  and  became  a  serpent.  Deftly  he  glided 
into  a  chasm  in  the  earth. 

The  chasm  was  a  very  narrow  one.  Utanka  tried  to 
enlarge  it  with  his  staff,  but  was  baffled.  Indra  on  his 
throne  witnessed  his  discomfiture,  and  sent  his  celebrated 
thunderbolt  to  open  up  the  gap.  Utanka  descended  into  a 
cavern.  There  he  saw  the  palaces  and  towers  of  Kuru 
Kshetra,  the  subterranean  city  of  the  serpents.  The  mystic 
earrings  of  Aditi  (the  purity  of  Utanka's  soul)  were  not  to  be 
recovered  easily.  In  their  quest  he  has  time  to  take  note  of 


OSIRIS.  357 

the  marvels  of  the  mystic  cavern.  He  sees  two  women 
weaving  a  veil,  the  one  with  white  and  the  other  with  black 
threads.  He  sees  a  wheel  with  twelve  spokes.  He  sees  a 
man  and  a  horse.  He  sings  the  following  hymn  : — 

"  Three  hundred  and  sixty  rays  spring  from  the  nave  of 
this  eternal  wheel.  Its  movement  is  everlasting.  To  it  are 
joined  twenty-four  lunar  fortnights.  Six  youths  [the  six 
seasons]  turn  it  for  ever. 

"  This  woof  is  woven  by  two  women,  who  have  the  forms 
of  the  univeVse.  They  weave  for  ever  with  black  threads  and 
white.  Adoration  to  the  god  who  holds  the  thunderbolt,  to 
the  slaughterer  of  Vritra,  who  wears  a  blue  garment,  and  has 
Agni  for  a  charger  ! " 

The  man  on  the  horse  hearing  this  hymn,  says  to  Utanka, 
"  I  am  pleased  with  your  praise.  I  will  grant  you  a  boon." 

"  Be  pleased  to  make  the  serpents  pass  under  my  power," 
says  the  novice. 

"  Blow  under  the  crupper  of  my  horse,"  says  the  man. 

Utanka  obeys,  and  at  once  the  snake  palaces  are  over 
whelmed  with  terrific  fire  and  smoke.  Takshaka,  in  con 
sternation,  offers  the  earrings  to  the  novice. 

"  Mount  this  horse,"  says  the  man. 

Utanka  obeys,  and  is  transported  to  the  hut  of  his  guru. 

That  holy  man  explains  to  him  the  significance  of  the 
sights  he  has  seen.  The  man  on  the  bull  is  Indra.  The 
cow  dung  is  the  immortal  ichor.  The  man  on  the  horse  is 
Indra  also  ;  and  the  horse  Agni.  The  wheel  with  the  twelve 
spokes  is  the  year.  The  two  women  are  Dhata  and  Vidhata ; 
the  white  threads  days,  and  the  black  threads  nights.  He 
might  have  added  that  the  cave  is  the  pastes,  the  coffin,  the 
dark  half-year.  It  is  the  "  Cave  of  Indra,"  of  all  Indian 
initiations,  even  the  Buddhist.  Takshaka,  man's  lower  nature, 
is  subdued  by  the  flaming  Garuda,  the  dove  of  the  Kabbalists, 
the  baptism  of  fire.  To  subject  the  serpent  is  the  secret  of 
all  magic,  says  the  Abbe  Alphonse  Louis  Constant. 

I  will  here  say  a  word  about  the  secrets  of  the  so-called 
"  Theosophy."  Some  time  back  I  earned  considerable  oppro 
brium  from  its  votaries,  by  questioning  the  existence  of  Koot 


358  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Hoomi,  but  I  think  it  can  be  shown  that  his  existence  is  more 
prejudicial  to  Theosophy,  viewed  as  a  school  of  mysticism, 
than  his  non-existence. 

In  the  year  1872,  Madame  Blavatsky  earned  her  bread  as 
a  professional  "  medium."  From  a  box,  called  a  "  cabinet," 
she  could  cause  to  issue  a  form  with  a  beard  and  turban,  the 
spirit,  she  affirmed,  of  a  pirate  who  died  more  than  two 
hundred  years  ago.  In  the  year  1883,  we  find  her  at  Adyar, 
in  Madras.  Again  she  has  a  box,  which  she  calls  this  time 
a  "  shrine."  Again  a  figure  emerges  with  beard  and  turban. 
This  time  it  is  announced  to  be  a  "  Buddhist "  from  Tibet, 
who  some  years  back  instructed  Madame  Blavatsky  in  the 
secrets  of  Esoteric  Buddhism.  She  lived  in  Tibet  for  seven 
years  under  his  roof.  But  she  failed  to  notice  in  all  these 
years  that  the  Buddhist  monks  of  Tibet  do  not  wear  long 
hair,  but  shave  their  heads.  She  failed  also  to  remark  that 
in  climates  like  Lha  Sa  turbans  are  as  little  necessary  as  a 
parasol  to  a  Greenlander.  She  failed  also  to  notice  that  the 
language  of  Tibet  is  Tibetan,  and  not  Chinese.  She  tells  us 
in  "Isis  Unveiled,"  vol.  ii.  p.  59,  that  in  Tibet  Buddha, 
Dharma,  and  Sangha,  are  called  "  Fo,  Fa,  and  Sengh."  Our 
exoteric  scholars  tell  us  that  Buddha  is  called  Bchom-dan- 
hdas-Sangs-r-gyas,  and  Dharma  and  Sangha,  T.  Tchos  and 
d  Ge  hdun. 

An  interesting  report  has  just  been  published  by  the 
Psychical  Research  Society  (December,  1885).  They  sent 
out  to  India  a  gentleman  named  Hodgson  to  investigate 
certain  veiy  damaging  revelations  put  forward  by  a  Madame 
Coulomb  and  her  husband,  confederates  of  Madame  Blavatsky. 
In  this  report,  we  see  that  "  Tibet "  was  Madame  Blavatsky's 
well-curtained  bed-chamber  at  Adyar.  This  through  a  pierced 
wall  and  sliding  panels  furtively  communicated  with  the 
interior  of  the  "  shrine."  And  through  this  "  Esoteric  "  passage 
all  the  "  Buddhism  "  was  pushed.  The  letters  of  Koot  Hoomi 
have  been  examined  by  Messrs.  Netherclift  and  Sims,  and 
pronounced  to  be  all  in  the  hand  writing  of  Madame  Blavatsky, 
the  early  ones  unskilfully,  the  later  ones  skilfully  disguised. 
The  matter  was  plagiarized  wholesale  from  a  lecture  on 


OSIRIS.  359 

spiritualism,  by  Professor  Kiddle,  in  America,  and  from  a 
French  book  of  magic,  by  Eliphas  Levi,  a  dash  of  Orientalism 
having  been  added  from  notes  furnished  by  a  somewhat 
illogical  Brahmin,  named  Mr.  Subba  Row,1  From  this  same 
"Tibet"  issued  the  "astral  form"  of  the  Mahatma,  seen  by 
Mr.  Sinnett,  Mohini,  and  others.  It  was  Mons.  Coulomb, 
with  false  beard,  turban,  shoulders  and  mask,  made  up  like 
the  picture  of  the  Mahatma  within  the  "shrine."  This 
picture  was  painted  in  America  for  Madame  Blavatsky,  who 
wanted  an  "  ideal  Hindoo."  It  was  scarcely  necessary  for 
Mr.  Edwin  Arnold,  in  his  recent  visit  to  Ceylon,  to  get  from 
the  Buddhist  high  priest  there  a  categorical  statement  that 
there  were  no  Mahatmas  in  Tibet.  More  noteworthy  is  the 
statement  that  the  atheism  and  nihilism  of  "  Esoteric 
Buddhism  "  were  unknown  to  him. 

I  have  said  that  the  existence  of  Koot  Hoomi  is  more  pre 
judicial  to  theosophy  than  his  non-existence.  The  object  of 
Indian  mysticism  was  to  bridge  the  worlds  of  matter  and 
spirit,  and  pilot  the  novice  through  the  demoniac  host  which 
were  believed  to  infest  the  mystic  portals.  This  was  to  be 
effected,  as  in  the  case  of  Utanka,  under  the  supervision  of  a 
flesh  and  blood  guru.  It  was  held  that  man's  usefulness  on 
earth  could  be  thus  inconceivably  increased,  for  all  knowledge 
of  God  must  come  from  within,  not  from  without. 

Theosophy  proclaims  the  direct  opposite  of  all  this.  It 
says  that,  owing  to  the  danger  from  evil  spirits,  all  yoga  must 
be  practised  under  the  guidance  of  an  adept  in  his  "astral 
form."  These  adepts,  owing  to  the  gross  aura  of  India  are 
obliged  to  reside  in  Tibet.  But  how  is  this  in  any  way  union 
with  the  next  world  ?  Koot  Hoomi  is  a  mortal.  Moriah  is  a 
mortal.  Their  teaching  is  as  rigid  a  mundane  dogmatism  as 
that  of  Bishop  Proudie.  And  how  can  I  tell  that  evil  spirits 
are  not  personating  Koot  Hoomi  or  Moriah  ?  The  phantom 
form  of  this  last  gentleman,  conjured  up  from  the  "  ideal 
Hindoo  "  of  the  American  artist,  is  said  to  have  appeared  to 
many  "  Theosophists  "  in  visions  of  the  night.  His  gospel  is 
a  jumble  of  contradictions  changed  every  day.  Supposing 
1  See  "  Report  Psyc.  Res.  Soc.,"  p.  274. 


360  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

after  a  long  course  of  asceticism  I  see  this  vision,  how  can  I 
tell  that  it  is  not  an  evil  spirit  personating  the  holy  man  ? 
Also,  how  can  I  tell  which  gospel  I  am  to  pick  out  of  his 
basket  ? 

THE  STORY  OF  HIRAM  ABIF. 

Has  any  one  ever  puzzled  over  the  fact  that  the  only 
modern  representatives  of  the  initiates  of  the  ancient  mys 
teries  should  occupy  themselves  entirely  with  the  practical 
business  of  the  hodman  and  the  builder.  What  is  the  con 
nection  between  the  mysteries  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven  and 
matter-of-fact  mortar,  T  squares,  trowels  ?  Mr.  H.  Melville, 
a  Royal  Arch  Mason,  in  a  work  entitled  "  Veritas,"  has  given 
us  an  answer  to  this  question.  Esoteric  masonry  occupied 
itself  in  reality  with  a  temple  built  without  any  sound  of 
hammer,  axe,  or  tool  of  iron.1  It  was  the  temple  in  the  skies, 
the  Macro  Kosmos  in  point  of  fact.  And  the  true  mason  was 
seeking  to  construct  the  micro  cosmos,  the  temple  of  the  soul. 

"According  to  the  grace  of  God,  which  is  given  unto 
me  as  a  wise  master-builder,  I  have  laid  the  foundation." 2  It 
has  been  deduced  from  this  passage  that  St.  Paul  was  an 
initiate  of  these  rites.  Masonry  has  its  fellow-craft  mason 
and  its  royal  arch. 

Modern  researches  are  suggesting,  as  it  seems  to  me, 
another  point  of  contact  between  the  trade  of  the  builder  and 
the  trade  of  the  astro-mystic.  This  even  Mr.  Melville  has 
failed  to  see.  The  earliest  astronomical  instruments  were  the 
square,  the  level,  the  compass,  the  rule.  By  their  aid  a  temple 
was  oriented.  This  meant  that  important  feast  days,  the 
periods  of  the  sowing  and  reaping,  could  be  thus  accurately 
told  by  the  stars. 

Recent  writers  have  shown  how  much  the  Pleiades  had  to 
do  with  ancient  rites  and  feasts.  In  Hesiod's  day,  corn  was 
cut  "  when  the  Pleiades  rise,"  and  ploughing  commenced  when 
the  Pleiades  set.3  These  two  periods  were  the  occasion  of  the 
two  great  festivals  of  the  old  world.4  The  first  observatory  was 
1  i  Kings  vi.  7.  2  i  Cor.  iii.  10. 

3  J.  F.  Blake,  "Astronomical  Myths,"  p.  120.  4  Ibid,  115. 


OSIRIS.  361 

the  temple  of  standing  stones  astronomically  arranged.  The 
dolmen,  with  its  chamber  of  rough  stones,  is  thought  to  be 
the  first  building  of  the  cave-man  in  the  plain.  It  imitates 
cave  architecture. 

The  primitive  astronomy  of  the  Chinese  was  able  to 
obtain  the  solstitial  and  equinoctial  points  at  the  solstices  by 
fixing  on  a  horizontal  platform  a  rule  marking  the  point  of 
sunrise,  and  another  at  night  marking  the  point  of  sunset. 
A  mean  taken  between  these  two  lines  would  give  the  meri 
dian.  But  to  get  the  two  other  cardinal  points  was  the 
difficulty.  Hence  the  importance  of  T  squares,  plummets, 
masonry  secrets.  The  early  priest  was  scientist  as  well  as 
theologian,  and  the  twelve  unhewn  stones  an  observatory. 

The  story  of  Hiram  Abif  need  not  detain  us  long.  He 
was  the  master-builder  of  Solomon's  temple.  It  is  recorded 
that  three  apprentices  murdered  him  because  he  would  not 
disclose  the  lost  word.  Hiram  made  three  efforts  to  escape. 
He  ran  to  the  eastern  gate  of  the  temple  and  found  himself 
confronted  by  an  assassin.  It  will  be  recollected  that  Buddha 
made  his  first  effort  to  escape  from  the  material  pleasures  of 
the  palace  of  summer  by  the  eastern  gate,  and  that  he  was 
there  arrested  by  the  old  man.  The  second  and  third  journeys 
of  Hiram  were  from  west  to  south  and  south  to  west,  each 
arrested  by  an  assassin.  Buddha's  journeys  were  by  the 
southern  and  western  gates,  during  which  he  encountered  the 
sick  man  and  the  corpse.  Hiram  was  then  slaughtered,  and 
the  body  was  carried  out  by  the  northern  gate  and  buried. 
The  conspirators  had  at  first  been  fifteen.  Twelve  had  re 
pented,  and  much  of  the  ritual  of  masonry  goes  on  the  dis 
covery  of  the  body  by  these  twelve  craft  masons.  A  sprig 
betrayed  the  secret,  and  they  planted  a  sprig  of  acacia  at  the 
grave  whilst  they  hurried  away  to  inform  King  Solomon. 
That  king  had  a  sumptuous  tomb  prepared  for  the  body  as 
near  the  holy  of  holies  in  the  temple  as  was  permissible  by 
Jewish  law. 

Masonry  is  plainly  a  Jewish  version  of  the  mysteries,  with 
Buddhism  and  Osiris  worship  superadded.  It  is,  I  think,  an 
echo  of  the  Therapeut  secrecy  and  precautions.  The  entered 


362  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

apprentice,  even  in  England,  is  stripped  of  his  sovereigns, 
breast-pin,  and  watch.  His  eyes  are  blinded,  and  certain  for 
malities  which  menace  "  stabbing  and  strangling "  are  gone 
through.  Vows  of  secrecy,  fidelity,  and  obedience  are  enacted 
— obedience  which  must  extend,  if  required,  to  the  sacrifice 
of  a  son  like  that  of  Abraham.  All  this  is  Buddhist,  although 
the  gold  and  money  is  promptly  returned,  and  marquesses  and 
royal  dukes  are  told  that  the  vows  of  obedience  will  never  be 
stretched  so  far  as  to  force  them  to  compass  the  overthrow 
of  the  House  of  Lords  and  the  British  Constitution.  "  Endow 
him  with  a  competency  of  Thy  divine  Wisdom  "  is  a  portion 
of  a  prayer  offered  up,  and  it  is  explained  to  the  aspirant  that 
knowledge  of  self  is  the  prime  desideratum.  "  The  light  of  a 
Master-Mason  is  darkness  visible."  l  All  these  are  profound 
mystical  truths. 

The  imaginary  temple  of  Solomon  has  a  royal  arch  made 
by  two  columns,  Jachin  and  Boaz.  Through  this  the  fellow- 
craft  mason  must  pass  to  become  a  master.  Here  we  have 
another  form  of  the  Indian  mysteries — the  zodiac  divided 
into  Jachin  and  Boaz,  the  black  and  white  halves,  at  the  feast 
of  the  Tree.  The  candidate  pretends  to  fall  dead  to  imitate 
Hiram's  death,  in  England,  but  in  some  lodges  he  is  placed  in 
a  tomb  with  a  tree  by  it. 

In  England,  masonry  is  thought  to  be  an  unmeaning  farce. 
Abroad,  by  clericals  and  republicans  alike,  masonry  in  its 
various  forms  is  pronounced  the  most  formidable  force  in 
Europe.  Lord  Beaconsfield  declared  that  the  secret  societies 
and  the  papacy  were  the  only  two  institutions  endowed  with 
permanency.  It  was  introduced  by  James  II.  during  his 
exile  in  France.  It  was  designed  to  prop  up  the  Stuart. 
Instead,  it  pulled  down  the  Bourbon  ;  for  its  main  principle 
is  the  apocalyptic  maxim  that  the  individual  must  be  made 
a  priest  and  a  king.  The  Albigenses  were  masonic  mystics. 
So  were  the  Hussites.  That  it  produced  the  Reformation  is 
the  belief  of  all  clerical  writers  abroad.  It  is  asserted  that 
the  discovery  of  the  "  Kabbalah  "  had  spread  mysticism  and 
gnosticism.  The  Templars,  leaving  Europe  to  attack  the 

1  Carlile,  p.  9.  > 


OSIRIS.  363 

Moslem,  had  returned  with  the  secret  tenets  of  the  Sufis, 
which  they  again  had  derived  from  the  Buddhists.  In  the 
fourteenth  century,  as  Mons.  Jannet  has  shown,  numerous 
guilds  and  corporations  existed,  and  mystic  societies  were  in 
the  heart  of  Catholicism.  "  Social  order  was  attacked,  and 
the  legitimacy  of  political  power,  the  rights  of  property, 
and  the  institution  of  the  family.  .  .  .  The  Albigenses  bor 
rowed  their  grades  and  organization,  as  well  as  their  doctrine, 
from  the  Freemasons."  l 

In  the  matter  of  the  French  revolution  the  influence  of 
Freemasonry  was  very  great.  Historians  like  Louis  Blanc  on 
the  one  side  and  the  Pere  Deschamps  are  there  agreed.  The 
Baron  d'Haugwitz,  at  the  Congress  of  Verona,  used  these 
words :  "  I  acquired  then  a  firm  conviction  that  the  drama 
which  commenced  in  1788  and  1789,  the  French  Revolution, 
the  regicide,  and  all  its  horrors  had  not  only  been  resolved  in 
the  lodges  of  the  illuminati,  but  was  due  to  the  association 
and  oaths  of  the  Freemasons."  2  Mirabeau  was  sent  in  the 
year  1785  on  a  diplomatic  mission  to  Prussia.  There  he  was 
initiated  in  German  illuminism.  He  brought  the  institution 
to  France,  and  five  hundred  lodges  were  promptly  formed. 
The  famous  lodge  of  Les  Amis  Reunis  in  Paris  had  all  the 
chief  agents  of  the  revolution  on  its  lists,  Robespierre,  Barnave, 
Petion,  Talleyrand,  etc.  It  was  debated  whether  the  great 
explosion  should  occur  in  Germany  or  France,  and  decided 
for  the  latter  country.3 

In  the  days  of  Wieshaupt  and  the  illuminati  of  Germany 
a  striking  scene  was  enacted.  The  novice  who  had  been 
brought  in  blindfolded,  was  shown  an  altar  on  which  was  a 
sceptre  and  crown,  some  gold  pieces,  and  some  valuable  jewels. 
Above  was  a  picture  of  the  "  Founder  of  Illuminism  " — an 
Ecce  Homo  that  was  solemnly  unveiled. 

"  Here  are  the  attributes  of  virtue,"  cried  the  Grand  Master 
"here   are   the   attributes   of    tyranny.      Choose!"      It   was 
explained   to  the  aspirant  that  the  masked  brothers  around 
were  quite  competent  to  push  his  career  for  him  in  court  or 

1  C.  Jannet,  "  Les  Socie'te's  Secretes,"  p.  51. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  74.  3  Ibid.,  p.  69. 


364  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

camp.  It  was  explained  also  to  him  that  the  aim  of  the 
society,  "the  Family  of  the  Human  Race,"  was  very  far- 
reaching,  and  exacted  extremes  of  devotion  and  self-denial. 
It  was  directed  against  all  despotism  and  class-privileges, 
secular  and  religious.1 

1  Victor  Huriot,  "  Mysteres  des  Societe's  Secretes." 


(     365     ) 


CHAPTER   XXVI. 

THE   AVAT^RA   OF   KRISHNA. 

AFTER  a  dispensation  or  Day  of  Brahma  has  continued  a 
certain  time,  says  the  "  Vishnu  Purana,"  the  human  race 
deteriorates.  Kings  despoil  their  subjects  instead  of  pro 
tecting  them.  "  Property  alone  confers  rank.  Wealth  is  the 
only  source  of  devotion.  Passion  is-  the  sole  bond  of  union 
between  the  sexes.  .  .  .  Dishonesty  is  the  universal  means  of 
subsistence.  Fine  clothes  are  dignity.  The  Brahminical 
thread  makes  the  Brahmin.  Presumption  is  substituted  for 
learning."  Treasures  are  sought,  not  at  the  shrines  of  the 
immortal  dead,  but  in  the  bowels  of  the  earth.  But  when 
the  prospect  is  blackest  the  relief  is  at  hand.  The  two  first 
stars  of  the  seven  rishis  (the  Great  Bear)  are  seen  at  night  in 
the  heavens  with  a  certain  lunar  asterism  between  them,  and 
then  the  star-gazers  are  made  aware  that  the  Deliverer  is 
about  to  be  born.1  The  nineteenth  century  should  begin  to 
watch  the  Great  Bear. 

Once  upon  a  time  the  world  groaned  with  the  oppressions 
of  a  demon  Kalanemi,  who  was  incarnate  as  King  Kansa. 
In  this  strait,  Earth  repaired  to  Meru,  and  laid  her  complaint 
before  Brahma.  That  god  pronounced  that  Vishnu  should  be 
appealed  to.  Is  it  not  a  well-known  fact  that  when  his  sacred 
feet  have  touched  the  earth,  that  globe  is  at  peace  for  a  hundred 
mystic  years  ?  2 

The  Avatara  of  Krishna  was  in  this  wise.  In  Mathura 
(the  modern  Muttra)  was  a  nobleman  named  Vasudeva,  who 
had  two  wives,  Devaki  and  Rohini.  Vishnu  plucked  two  of 

1  Wilson,  "  Vishnu  Purana,"  pp.  482-487.  2  Ibid.,  p.  485. 


366  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

his  hairs,  a  black  one  and  a  white  one.  From  that  black  one 
sprang  up,  in  the  womb  of  Devaki,  Krishna,  The  Black  One, 
as  his  name  signifies.  From  the  white  hair,  in  the  womb  of 
Rohini,  Bala  Rama  (the  boy  Rama)  was  conceived.  Now, 
the  special  sign  of  Krishna  and  Vishnu,  is  a  holy  emblem  on 
the  breast  formed  by  curling  hair.  It  is  called  the  srivatsa 
(holy  breast,  holy  mark).  I  think  this  is  plainly  a  later  form 
of  the  swastika  cross,  the  symbol  of  the  commencing 
year.  And  the  two  hairs  are  the  two  principles — 
heaven  and  earth — the  higher  and  the  lower  life — 
that  the  Narayana,  or  god-man  unites., 
A  king  of  asuras,  or  spirits  of  darkness,  has  at  his  court 
Brahmins,  soothsayers,  and  other  holy  institutions,  just  like 
a  king  of  the  spirits  of  light.  Conspicuous  at  the  court  of 
King  Kansa  was  a  holy  saint  named  Narada.  This  seer,  by 
his  mystic  insight,  was  able  to  discern  that  the  son  of  Devaki 
would  one  day  overturn  King  Kansa.  The  monarch,  hearing 
this,  was  in  a  fury,  and  determined  to  destroy  the  child.  He 
flung  Devaki  into  a  dungeon,  awaiting  the  infant's  birth.  At 
midnight  one  evening  the  child  was  born.  It  had  four  arms 
and  the  mystic  mark,  srivatsa,  on  its  breast.  Vasudeva 
begged  the  baby  to  veil  his  supernal  "  four-armed  shape." 
He  addressed  him  :  "  God  of  gods,  who  comprisest  all  the 
regions  of  the  world  in  thy  person  !  " 

From  this  it  appears  that  the  four  cardinal  points  were 
the  express  symbols  to  distinguish  the  universal  from  the 
anthropomorphic  god. 

A  mystic  sleep,  called  yoganidra  (the  magic  sleep  of  yoga), 
is  cast  upon  the  jailers  and  warders  of  the  great  gate  of  Ma- 
thura  by  unseen  agencies.  This  yoganidra  must  have  been  a 
sort  of  mesmeric  trance.  The  holy  infant  is  then  carried  out 
of  the  prison  and  the  city.  The  dew  being  heavy,  a  portent 
occurred.  A  many-headed  serpent,  the  mighty  Sesha,  spread 
out  its  hoods  to  shield  the  four-armed  divinity.  A  similar  por 
tent  occurred  to  Buddha.  A  nimbus  of  serpent  heads  is  a 
divine  symbol  in  all  the  old  Hindu  temples  and  Buddhist  topes. 
On  this  particular  night,  on  the  banks  of  the  Yamuna, 
or  Jumna,  was  a  poor  cowherd,  Nanda,  and  his  wife  Yasoda. 


KRISHNA.  367 

They  were  asleep  on  the  cold  ground  under  a  waggon,  after 
a  weary  journey.  Nanda  was  bringing  tribute  to  Kansa. 
Yasoda  had  just  been  confined.  Babies  were  shifted,  and 
the  infant  Krishna,  "  black  as  the  dark  leaves  of  the  lotus," 
was  placed  by  her  side.  In  the  morning,  the  infant  of 
Yasoda  was  seized  by  the  jailers  and  handed  over  to  the 
delighted  Kansa.  He  dashed  it  against  a  stone,  but  it 
changed  into  a  gigantic  being. 

"  He  is  born  who  shall  kill  thee ! "  said  the  apparition 
solemnly,  and  it  vanished  in  the  heavens.  Kansa,  alarmed, 
like  Herod,  ordered  all  the  male  children  of  Mathura  to  be 
put  to  death,  but  Krishna  escaped  with  his  putative  father, 
Nanda.  This  poor  cowherd  dwelt  at  the  village  of  Gokula. 

One  night,  the  infant  had  a  terrible  adventure.  A  wicked 
fiend,  Putana,  tried  to  suckle  it  with  her  poisonous  nipples. 
The  infant  drained  the  life  out  of  her.  Diseases  in  the  old 
days  were  all  believed  to  be  the  work  of  individual  fiends  ; 
so  Yasoda,  alarmed,  fenced  about  the  little  infant  with  many 
charms.  She  swished  a  cow  tail  over  him.  She  placed 
powdered  cow-dung  on  his  head.  She  bound  round  his  arm 
a  raksha  or  amulet.  It  was  the  following  inscription  tied 
with  silk  : — 

"  May  Hari  from  the  lotus,  of  whose  navel  the  world  was 
developed,  protect  thee !  May  that  Kesava,  who  assumed 
the  form  of  a  boar,  protect  thee.  May  that  Kesava  who,  as 
the  man-lion,  rent  with  his  sharp  nails  the  bosom  of  his  foe, 
protect  thee.  May  Garuda l  guard  thy  head  ;  Kesava  thy 
neck  ;  Vishnu  thy  belly  ;  Janarddana  thy  legs  and  feet ;  the 
eternal  and  irresistible  Narayana,  thy  face,  thine  arms,  thy 
mind,  thy  faculties  of  sense.  May  all  ghosts,  goblins,  and 
spirits  unfriendly  ever  fly  thee,  appalled  by  the  quoit,  mace, 
arid  sword  of  Vishnu,  and  the  echo  of  his  shell." 

The  ancients  believed  that  diseases  were  the  obsession  by 
fiends,  and  different  parts  of  the  body  had  to  be  separately 
protected.  Similar  amulets  to  that  of  poor  Yasoda  were  called 
"  knots,"  in  ancient  Babylonia. 

"  Knot,  bind  the  head  of  the  sick  man,  bind  his  forehead, 

1  These  are  all  synonyms  of  Vishnu. 


368  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

bind  the  seat  of  his  life,"  etc.,  says  an  ancient  formula.1 
M.  Lenormant  points  out  that  the  phylacteries  of  the  Pharisees 
and  the  "  knots  "  patronized  by  mediaeval  duchesses  were  of 
the  same  pattern. 

To  differentiate  Indian  mythology  and  pure  history  is 
difficult.  In  the  view  of  Indian  scholars  there  was  a  real 
Krishna,  a  conqueror  who  enlarged  the  domains  of  the  Aryas 
by  victories  over  the  aborigines,  who  figure  always  in  Indian 
legends  as  giants  and  fiends.  Mr.  Garrett,  in  his  excellent 
dictionary,  fixes  his  date  at  the  time  when  "  the  Aryans  were 
still  a  nomad  people,  pasturing  their  herds  of  cattle  at  the 
foot  of  the  Himalaya  range  and  in  the  plains  of  the  Punjab." 
The  movement  was  towards  "  the  interior  and  east "  from  the 
north-western  corner  of  the  peninsula.2 

This  geography  would  place  him  before  Rama  and  the 
sons  of  Pandu.  It  is  significant  that  Krishna  differs  from  the 
other  incarnations  in  not  being  of  royal  birth.  The  story  of 
the  baby  being  found  close  to  the  waggon  of  a  cowherd 
means,  of  course,  that  he  was  a  peasant. 

Krishna  and  his  brother  Balarama  grow  up  amongst  the 
cowherds.  Their  infant  sports  are  a  never-ending  popular 
theme  in  modern  India.  When  they  were  quite  tiny  they 
"  began  to  crawl  about  the  ground,  supporting  themselves  on 
their  hands  and  knees,  and  creeping  everywhere,  often  amidst 
ashes  and  filth.  Neither  Rohini  nor  Yasoda  was  able  to 
prevent  them  from  getting  into  the  cow-pens  or  amongst  the 
calves,  where  they  amused  themselves  by  pulling  their  tails."  3 
On  one  occasion,  the  infant  Krishna,  being  tied  as  a  punish 
ment  to  the  mortar  with  which  the  Indians  bruise  unwinnowed 
corn,  pulled  it  along  with  him  against  two  large  trees,  over 
turning  both  in  the  process.  On  another  occasion  he  upset 
the  waggon  which  in  those  pastoral  times  seems  to  have 
been  the  paternal  dwelling.  By-and-by,  the  little  colony 
emigrated  to  a  pastoral  district  of  Mathura,  called  Vrindavana, 
where  "  new  grass  springs  up  even  in  the  hot  weather."  Here 

1  Lenormant,  "  La  Magie  Chaldidnne,"  pp.  39,  43. 

2  Garrett,  sub  voce  Krishna. 

3  Wilson,  "Vishnu  Parana,"  chap.  v. 


KRISHNA. 


369 


the  two  boys  romped  in  the  forests.  They  made  themselves 
crests  of  the  peacocks'  plumes,  and  garlands  of  forest  flowers, 
and  musical  instruments  of  leaves  and  reeds.  They  piped  to 
the  cowherds.  They  sang  in  chorus  and  danced  together. 
Sometimes  they  stained  themselves  of  various  hues  with  the 
minerals  of  the  mountain.  On  his  head  each  boy  wore  the 
Kaka-paksha,1  or  the  hair  trimmed  like  the  outspread  wings 
of  a  flying  crow.  The  bird  Garuda  typifies  spiritual  light 
and  fire. 

In  a  pool  on  the  Yamuna,  near  Vrindavana,  was  a  terrible 
water  serpent.  Its  name  was  Kaliya,  and  it  made  the  water 
poisonous  to  men  and  cattle.  Young  Krishna,  reflecting  that 
as  the  bird  Garuda  he  had  once  before  vanquished  this  snake, 
determined  again  to  attack  it.  Climbing  a  kadamba  tree,  he 
leaped  boldly  into  the  pool.  Immediately  he  was  attacked 
by  a  vast  number  of  serpents,  male  and  female.  They  coiled 
themselves  round  every  limb,  and  bit  fiercely  with  their 
poisonous  fangs.  Nanda  and  Yasoda  and  the  young  gopis 
(cow-girls)  wept  bitter  tears— 

"  Without  Hari  the  forest  will  lose  its  delight.  We  have 
listened  to  his  music,  and  now  the  serpents  will  kill  him.  Let 
us  all  plunge  likewise  into  the  fearful  pool  of  the  serpent  king." 

But  Balarama,  listening  to  the  words  of  the  cow-girls,  and 
seeing  the  cowherds  themselves  pale  with  terror  on  the  bank, 
was  filled  with  disdain.  He  at  once  "  reminded "  Krishna 
of  his  "  real  character,"  as  the  "  Vishnu  Purana  "  somewhat 
quaintly  puts  it. 

"  God  of  gods,  the  quality  of  mortal  is  sufficiently  assumed. 
Thou  art  the  centre  of  creation,  as  the  nave  is  of  the  spokes 
of  a  wheel.  The  gods,  to  partake  of  thy  pastimes  as  man, 
have  all  descended  in  disguise.  The  goddesses  have  come 
down  to  Gokula  to  join  in  thy  sports.  Disregard  not  these 
sorrowing  divinities,  the  cowherds  and  cow-girls,  thy  kith  and 
kin.  Thou  hast  put  on  the  character  of  man.  Thou  hast 
exhibited  the  tricks  of  childhood.  Subdue  this  fierce  snake." 
Krishna  obeyed. 

The  "fierce  Kesin  "  was  a  demon  haunting  the  woods  of 

1  Wilson,  "  Vishnu  Purana,"  p.  510. 

2  B 


370  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Vrindavana.  Kansa,  alarmed  at  the  death  of  Putana  and 
other  prodigies,  sent  him  against  the  two  divine  boys.  He 
assumed  the  form  of  a  horse,  "  spurning  the  earth  with  his 
hoofs,  scattering  the  clouds  with  his  mane,  and  springing  in 
his  paces  beyond  the  orbits  of  the  sun  and  moon."  The  cow 
herds  and  their  wives,  hearing  his  neighing,  fled  to  Krishna 
for  protection. 

"  Away  with  these  fears  of  Kesin,"  said  the  young  hero. 
"  He  is  but  a  galloping  steed,  ridden  by  the  strength  of  the 
Daityas.  His  neighing  is  his  only  terror  ! " 

The  fierce  steed  galloped  at  Krishna  with  his  mouth  wide 
open.  Krishna  thrust  his  arm  in  it  and  tore  out  his  teeth,  as 
the  wielder  of  the  trident  tore  out  the  teeth  of  Pushan.  The 
arm  in  the  throat  of  the  demon  now  enlarged,  like  a  malady 
that  grows  and  grows  and  ends  in  death.  From  his  torn  lips 
the  demon  vomited  foam  and  blood.  He  was  rent  asunder 
by  the  arm  of  Krishna  as  a  tree  is  rent  by  the  lightning's 
flash.  The  cowherds  were  delighted,  and  Narada  the  Brahmin, 
invisible,  seated  on  a  cloud,  exclaimed,  "  Well  done,  Lord  of 
the  Universe,  thou  hast  destroyed  Kesin,  the  oppressor  of  the 
denizens  of  heaven.  Thou  shalt  be  called  the  Slayer"  (Kesa 
va) ! 1  After  the  fight  Krishna  returned  to  Gokula,  the  "  sole 
object  of  the  eyes  of  the  women  of  Vraja." 

Krishna  had  another  adventure.  This  was  with  the  demon 
Arishta,  disguised  as  a  savage  bull.  "His  colour  was  that 
of  a  cloud  charged  with  rain.  He  had  vast  horns.  His  eyes 
were  like  two  fiery  suns.  As  he  moved,  he  ploughed  up  the 
ground  with  his  hoofs.  His  tail  was  erect."  The  hump, 
which  is  a  feature  of  Indian  cattle,  was  enormous.  Many 
hermits  in  the  forest  had  fallen  victims  to  his  fierce  rage. 

Seeing  Krishna,  the  fierce  beast  charged  him  with  lowered 
horns.  Krishna  seized  them  deftly,  and  with  gigantic  strength 
tore  them  off.  He  beat  the  demon  with  them  till  he  died. 
He  pressed  the  bull  with  his  knees.  This  feat  reminded  the 

1  Professor  Wilson  questions  the  etymology  of  Narada,  and  gives 
"  He  of  the  hair  "  (Kesa)  as  the  correct  derivation.  As  the  old  Indians 
loved  verbal  quips,  they  perhaps  had  both  root-words  in  view  ("  Vishnu 
Purina,"  p.  540). 


KRISHNA.  371 

herdsmen    of    Indra    triumphing    over   the   Asura   Jambha. 
Other  feats  were  performed  by  this  young  boy. 

Whatever  the  respective  dates  of  the  three  great  Indian 
legends,  I  think  that  an  attempt  has  been  made  to  blend 
them  into  one  harmonious  whole.  Having  taken  the  aspects 
of  Nature  as  a  great  symbol  of  God,  the  Brahmins  have  tried 
to  make  Rama's  story  specially  deal  with  the  autumn  of  life, 
Yudhishthira's  with  summer  and  kingship,  Krishna's  with 
youth  and  spring.  This  last  is  quite  proved  by  the  kalendar. 
With  Indian  genius,  as  with  Sanzio  and  Fra  Angelico,  the 
child  god  is  the  favourite  idea  expressed.  Krishna  is  drawn 
suckling,  or  sprawling  with  playthings,  or  strangling  a  snake 
whilst  yet  a  baby.  But  at  one  point  the  Christ  and  the 
Krishna  palpably  diverge.  The  Brahmins  were  plainly  of 
idea  that  God  considered  as  Nature  could  never  be  fully 
drawn  unless  the  element  of  adult  love  was  added.  There  is 
the  Bala  Krishna,  or  child  Krishna,  but  there  is  also  a  Krishna 
arrived  at  puberty. 

Krishna's  celebrated  dalliance  with  the  milkmaids  has 
been  pronounced  unchaste  by  missionaries,  and  been  glossed 
over  by  some  writers.  Thus  Miss  Gordon  Gumming  suggests 
that  when  he  hid  their  clothes  when  they  were  bathing  he 
wished  to  read  them  a  lesson  of  modesty. 

I  think  both  sets  of  writers  fail  to  read  the  legend  aright. 
The  mystic  cows  of  the  Brahmin  religion  and  the  milkmaids 
are  one,  and  we  know  from  the  "  Mahabharata  "  that  these  cows 
are  the  days  of  the  year.  The  sun-god  in  his  yearly  course 
lights  up  each  in  succession.  "  The  drops  of  perspiration 
from  Krishna's  arms  were  like  the  fertilizing  rain,"  says  the 
"  Vishnu  Purana."  That  Krishna's  love  has  been  pronounced 
platonic  by  so  many  readers  shows  that  the  subject  has  been 
treated  with  great  delicacy. 

In  spring  the  air  is  perfumed  with  the  white  water-lily  and 
the  bees  murmur.  At  this  time  Krishna  and  his  brother 
sang  sweet  strains  in  various  measures  such  as  the  women 
love.  The  milkmaids  came  forth  from  their  huts.  One  sang 
a  gentle  accompaniment  to  the  song.  Another  listened,  a 
third  called  out  his  name,  and  then  shrunk  abashed.  One 


372  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

girl,  afraid  of  her  father  and  mother,  dared  not  come  out,  but 
meditated  on  Krishna  with  closed  eyes,  and  emancipated 
herself  from  her  lower  nature.  Some  imaged  him  as  the 
"  Supreme  Brahma,"  and  obtained  final  emancipation.  One 
fine  moonlight  night,  the  milkmaids  and  the  god  indulged  in 
a  pretty  dance,  the  celebrated  Rasa  dance  ("  speech  dance," 
"  chain  dance.") 

In  this  dance,  the  girls  form  a  ring  and  a  phantom  Krishna 
is  at  the  side  of  each.  The  pretty  comedians  then  personate 
the  god.  One  pretends  to  hold  up  the  mountain  Govard- 
dhana.  Another  makes  believe  to  pipe,  a  third  sings.  One 
slaps  her  round  brown  arms  like  a  wrestler  and  challenges  the 
serpent  Kaliya  with  a  quite  imposing  defiance.  One  affects 
to  see  the  footprints  of  the  god  and  a  particular  milkmaid  on 
the  ground,  and  pouts  with  pretty  jealousy.  Then  one  shows 
her  rapture  that  Krishna  is  by  her  ;  another  her  despair 
because  she  is  abandoned.  One  mimics  the  higher  happiness 
of  the  rishi  who,  with  closed  eyes  dreams  of  the  formless 
Vishnu.  Bracelets  jingle  and  round  arms  are  flung  aloft  till  at 
last  all  the  poor  girls,  abandoned,  feel  that  they  can  only  sing 
Krishna's  songs  to  the  sound  of  the  Vina  and  the  musical 
sing-song  of  the  women. 

This  dance  was  a  temple  dance  when  the  Babylonian 
women  wept  for  Tammuz,  and  probably  many  hundred  years 
before.  The  chain  represents  the  year  and  the  girls  the  days. 
The  sun-god  visits  each  in  turn. 

The  name  of  one  milkmaid,  Radha,  has  been  studiously 
kept  out  of  the  Puranas,  but  tradition  has  been  too  powerful. 
One  night  in  the  rainy  season,  Krishna,  a  wanderer,  received 
shelter  from  one  Nanda,  a  cowherd,  and  the  cowherd's  daughter 
became  his  mistress.  Their  lives  are  still  sung  in  every 
bazaar.1  The  sculptures  too  of  the  temple  of  Jagannatha, 
Krishna's  temple  in  Orissa,  are  said  to  make  plain  the  nature 
of  Krishna's  dalliance  with  the  milkmaids.2 

King  Kansa  having  been  unsuccessful  with  his  zodiacal 
horse  and  his  bull,  determines  to  slaughter  Krishna  with  a 

1  See  "  Gita  Govinda  "  and  Tod's  "  Rajesthan,"  vol.  i.  p.  540. 

2  "  Garrett's  "  Dictionary,"  sub  voce  "  Jagannatha." 


KRISHNA.  373 

famous  brace  of  athletes,  and  bids  him  in  consequence  to  a 
great  summer  festival.  Akrura  is  his  messenger.  When  the 
poor  milkmaids  hear  that  Govinda,  the  divine  cowherd  as 
they  call  him,  is  going  to  leave  them,  they  weep  bitter  tears. 
The  dames  of  Mathura  are  proud  and  seductive.  The  divine 
cowherd  is  a  rustic.  "  Their  smiles  and  airs  and  meaning; 

o 

glances  will  turn  him  from  us.  Bright  is  the  morning  for  the 
women  of  Mathura,  for  the  bees  of  their  eyes  will  feed  upon 
his  lotus  face.  Delicious  will  be  the  great  festival,  for  they 
will  see  Krishna.  Brahma  has  given  us  a  great  treasure. 
He  takes  it  away  and  we  are  blind.  Despair  shrivels  our 
beauty  and  makes  our  bracelets  slip  from  shrunken  limbs." 

Akrura  was  possessed  of  the  Syamantika  gem  (the  higher 
initiation).  On  the  journey  he  went  down  to  the  river  for  the 
Sandhya  or  noonday  rite.  He  threw  himself  into  the  Dhyana 
or  mystic  reverie,  and  saw  Krishna  transfigured  before  him. 
Lightnings  flashed  as  from  a  dark  cloud.  His  body  was 
changed.  The  mystic  four  arms  held  the  four  great  symbols. 
The  srivatsa  or  mystic  cross  was  on  his  breast.  A  gem  was 
on  his  brow,  and  the  whitest  of  lotuses  on  his  head.  Emerging 
from  the  water,  the  Akrura  was  astonished  to  see  the  brothers 
in  their  car,  sitting  like  ordinary  mortals.  Again  he  went 
into  the  stream,  and  again  the  phantasmal  body  of  Krishna 
visited  him  there.  The  holy  man  became  convinced  that 
Balarama  was  Sesha,  the  mighty  serpent  that  supports  the 
Kosmos,  and  Krishna  was  the  "  the  supreme  Brahma,  eternal, 
unchangeable,  uncreated." 

Upon  entering,  Mathura,  the  divine  cowherd,  met  a  de 
formed  girl,  Kubja.  She  was  carrying  a  pot  of  precious 
ointment. 

"  Fair  girl,"  said  Krishna,  "  give  me  of  that  ointment,  the 
ointment  of  kings." 

"  Take  it,"  said  Kubja.  Krishna  smeared  his  body  with 
the  Brakticheda  anointing.  This  means  that  he  put  on  the 
various  mystic  nose,  cheek,  breast,  and  arm  marks  of  the 
followers  of  Vishnu,  and  the  celebrated  tridentine  streaks  on 
the  forehead.  They  symbolize  Vishnu's  three  steps. 

Then  Krishna,  who  had  the  power  of  healing  by  touch, 


374  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

put  his  thumb  and  two  fingers  under  the  deformed  girl's  chin 
and  made  her  straight  and  beautiful. 

The  festival  of  King  Kansa  was  very  like  similar  festivals 
in  the  other  epics.  Pavilions,  and  tents,  and  platforms  were 
erected.  They  were  decorated  with  pictures,  and  garlands, 
and  flags,  and  statues.  Aromatic  scents  were  everywhere. 
The  octagonal  columns  that  were  put  up  for  the  horse  sacrifice 
in  the  Ramayana,  were  here  likewise.  The  pavilions  had 
each  seven  roofs,  supported  on  four  posts.  Professor  Wilson 
thinks  that  they  must  have  been  of  the  pattern  of  Chinese 
pagodas.1  Coloured  awnings,  and  carpets,  and  silks,  and 
pretty  women  animated  the  scene.  They  were  allowed  to 
appear,  as  in  the  "  Mahabharata,"  without  curtains  or  conceal 
ment.2  Drinks  were  prepared  for  the  common  people,  and  a 
phrase  that  may  mean  "viands"  is  used.8  This  would  carry  the 
legend  to  days  before  Asoka,  the  Buddhist,  forbade  flesh  meat 

Krishna,  like  Rama,  breaks  the  bow  that  no  one  can  bend. 
He  and  his  brother  then  confront  the  two  great  athletes, 
Chanura  and  Mushtika.  At  the  sight  of  these  strong  men, 
Devaki  mourns  for  her  son,  and  fears  that  she  will  never  see 
his  lovely  face  again.  The  courtesans,  too,  under  the  bright 
awnings,  cry  out,  Alas  !  The  graceful,  though  light  frame  of 
the  young  cowherd,  as  he  tightened  his  girdle  and  danced  in 
the  arena,  had  earned  him  their  sympathies.  As  he  slapped 
his  arms  in  defiance  to  the  mighty  Chanura,  all  the  women 
said,  "  How  can  the  delicate  form  of  Hari,  the  blue  one, 
oppose  that  great  giant  ?  " 

The  Indians  are  unrivalled  wrestlers.  Officers  who  have 
learnt  their  grips  have  shone  against  English  athletes.  The 
fight  between  Chanura  and  Krishna  has  found  an  expert  for 
a  historian.  "  Mutual  grips,"  "  interlacing  arms,"  "  inter 
twining  the  whole  body,"  "  pulling  forwards,"  "  pushing  back  ;  " 
these  and  a  dozen  other  stratagems  are  detailed  in  long 
Sanskrit  words.  By-and-by,  the  wreath  of  flowers  on  Cha- 
nura's  head  began  to  quiver,  and  his  mighty  strength  to  wane. 
At  last  Krishna  lifted  up  his  adversary  and  dashed  him  to  the 
ground.  His  soul  fled,  and  Balarama  disposed  of  the  other 
1  "Vishnu  Purina,"  p.  554.  2  Ibid.,  p.  555.  3  Ibid.,  p.  554,  note. 


KRISHNA.  375 

wrestler.     Then  the  two  brothers  danced  in  the  arena  in  the 
Indian  manner. 

King  Kansa  was  terribly  incensed.  He  gave  orders  that 
Vasudeva  should  be  horribly  tortured,  and  Nanda,  Krishna, 
and  Balarama  seized.  Krishna  came  to  the  defence  of  his 
kinsmen,  and  jumped  up  and  dragged  Kansa  out  of  his  regal 
pavilion.  He  knocked  off  his  tiara,  squeezed  him  to  death, 
and  dragged  his  body  across  the  sand  in  the  middle  of  the 
arena.  It  was  furrowed  as  by  a  watercourse.  He  released 
Ugrasena,  the  father  of  Kansa,  from  prison,  and  placed  him 
on  the  throne.  A  Brahmin,  Sandipani,  was  told  off  to  instruct 
the  youths  in  arms  and  magic.  For  a  fee,  Krishna  promised  to 
raise  his  son  from  the  dead.  He  had  been  drowned  when 
bathing  at  the  celebrated  temple  of  Somnath,  in  Guzerat 
A  terrible  demon,  named  Panchajana,  who  was  in  the  form  of 
a  conch-shell,  had  swallowed  him.  Krishna  plunged  in  the 
sea  and  rescued  the  boy.  He  slew  the  marine  monster  and 
made  a  conch-shell  out  of  his  bones.  This  is  his  celebrated 
Sankha,  whose  "  sound  fills  demon  hosts  with  dismay." 

The  great  modern  festival  of  Krishna,  in  India,  takes 
place  in  Gemini-Cancer.  Hence,  the  two  wrestlers  slaughtered 
by  the  two  twins  of  the  new  year.  The  images  of  Krishna 
and  his  brother  Balarama,  in  the  great  Temple  of  Jagganatha, 
in  Orissa,  have  arms  uplifted  to  form  the  Buddhist  trisul. 

This  explains  the  upraising  of  the  mountain  Govard-dhana. 
Krishna  is  stambha,  the  Kosmos-supporter.  Kansa  is  the 
Kosmos-supporter  of  the  preceding  year.  Opposite  Gemini 
is  the  arrow,  and  opposite  Cancer  the  marine  monster  with 
the  elephant  in  his  mouth.  Hence  the  incident  of  the  bow, 
and  the  monster  like  a  shell. 

King  Jarasandha  (who  figures  likewise  in  the  "  Mahabha- 
rata  ")  was  the  father-in-law  of  King  Kansa.  Incensed  at  the 
death  of  the  king,  he  marched  from  his  capital,  Magadha,  with 
forty-six  million  fighting  men.  The  men  of  Mathura  were 
besieged  ;  but  Krishna,  with  the  "bow  of  Hari,"  the  magic 
double  quiver,  and  the  mace  Kaumodaki,  did  prodigies  of 
valour.  He  had  recourse  to  the  four  strategic  devices- 
bribery,  negotiation,  dissension,  and  chastisement.  A  feigned 


3/6  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

retreat  is  mentioned  as  another  device.1  "  It  was  the  pastime 
of  the  Lord  of  the  Universe,  in  his  capacity  of  man,  to  launch 
various  weapons  against  his  enemies." 

After  the  defeat  of  Jarasandha,  a  Greco-Bactrian  king, 
Kalayavana,  whose  "  breast  was  as  hard  as  the  point  of  the 
thunderbolt,"  marched  against  Mathura.  Krishna,  reflecting 
that  the  Yudavas  were  much  weakened  by  their  long  campaign 
against  the  king  of  Magadha,  retreated  westward,  some  six 
hundred  miles  to  the  sea.  At  the  extremity  of  the  peninsula 
of  Guzerat,  he  begged  from  ocean  twelve  furlongs,  and  thereon 
constructed  the  city  of  Dwaraka.  Ramparts  and  gardens, 
and  tanks  and  buildings,  made  this  city  like  Amaravati,  the 
city  of  Indra.  In  this  city  he  placed  the  inhabitants  of 
Mathura.  Kalayavana  was  enticed  into  a  cavern  and  killed  by 
Muchukunda ;  and  all  his  horses,  and  elephants,  and  chariots 
handed  over  to  the  men  of  Dwaraka. 

By  the  sounding  sea,  a  shrine,  called  "  Krishna's  Shrine,"  is 
all  that  modern  pilgrims  can  see  of  ancient  Dwaraka.  Mean 
while  Krishna  runs  away  with  the  beautiful  Ruckmini.  A 
more  difficult  task  is  before  him  to  gain  the  earrings  of  Aditi, 
the  celestial  virgin,  like  Utanka  in  the  former  legend. 

There  is  a  fine  hymn  to  Aditi  in  the  "  Vishnu  Purana," 
which  runs  partly  thus  :— 

HYMN  TO  ADITI. 
Matter  thou  art  unwelded  and  eternal ; 

And  in  the  gloom 
The  Lord  of  gods  celestial,  and  infernal, 

Lay  in  thy  womb. 

Then  wert  thou  Speech  !     The  voice  of  the  immortals, 

O  Aditi, 
Whispers  to  man  through  the  well-guarded  portals — 

Whispers  through  thee ! 

By  thee  the  world  was  fashioned  from  the  waters, 

At  Brahma's  call  ; 
The  stars  of  heaven  are  thy  shining  daughters, 

Mother  of  all  ! 

1  According  to  the  "  Mahabharata,"  Krishna  was  driven  westward  by 
Jarasandha. 


KRISHNA.  377 

In  pursuit  of  his  great  task,  Krishna  calls  to  his  aid  the 
"  eater  of  serpents,"  the  bird  Garuda.  He  mounts  his  back 
and  proceeds  to  the  city  of  King  Naraka,  which  was  defended 
by  nooses  with  edges  sharp  as  razors.  Krishna,  with  the  aid 
of  his  terrible  discus,  cuts  in  pieces  the  nooses,  disperses  the 
dark  legions  of  the  king,  and  slaughters  that  monarch.  He 
lets  loose  sixteen  thousand  one  hundred  damsels,  and  comes 
back  through  the  skies  on  Garuda,  bringing  the  earrings  of 
Aditi  and  the  other  treasures.  The  sixteen  thousand  one 
hundred  damsels  enter  the  hero's  zenana. 

Krishna  had  a  wife  named  Satyabhama,  who  desired  to 
have  the  celebrated  Parijata  Tree  (tree  of  life).  This  blooms 
in  Paradise.  Its  bark  is  of  gold.  Its  leaves  of  a  rich  copper 
colour.  Its  fruit  is  delicious. 

"  Why,"  said  the  queen,  "  should  not  this  divine  tree  be 
transported  to  Dwaraka  ?  If  I  am  really  dear  to  you,  fetch 
it.  You  say  neither  Ruckmini  nor  Jambavati  are  so  dear  to 
you  as  I  am.  If  this  is  not  mere  flattery,  bring  the  tree 
from  heaven  and  let  me  wear  its  flowers  in  the  braids  of  my 
hair  ! " 

Krishna  having  to  return  the  earrings  of  Aditi  to  the 
universal  mother,  thought  this  would  be  a  good  opportunity 
to  seize  the  Parijata  Tree.  He  hurried  to  Swarga,  the  Indian 
Paradise,  on  the  back  of  Garuda.  He  presented  the  earrings 
to  their  owner.  He  then  seized  the  Parijata  Tree  and  carried 
it  off.  Indra,  indignant,  attacked  him  with  the  heavenly 
legions,  but  Krishna  triumphed.  The  Parijata  Tree  is  another 
name  for  Virgo.  And  the  episode  is  also  brought  in  to  exalt 
the  Vishnu  worship  over  the  more  ancient  Indra  worship. 

The  abundant  imagery  of  the  Scales  being  exhausted,  let 
us  now  see  whether  a  character  with  a  superfluity  of  arms 
appears  upon  the  scene.  Krishna  had  a  grandson,  Aniruddh a. 
A  girl,  Usha,  saw  him  in  a  dream.  She  became  melancholy, 
and  at  last  gave  up  her  secret  to  a  confidante.  This  lady 
being  possessed  of  magic  powers,  inveigled  Aniruddha  to  the 
court  of  the  girl's  father,  King  Bana. 

King  Bana  had  for  a  patron  deity  the  god  with  three  eyes. 
This  is  Rudra  or  Siva.  He  was  possessed  also  of  a  thousand 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

arms  ;  and  he  prayed  to  Rudra,  saying,  "  Peace  is  not  good 
for  a  monarch  with  a  thousand  arms,  give  me  war ! " 

"  When  thy  peacock  banner  shall  break,"  said  the  god, 
"thou  shalt  have  that  war  that  delights  the  wicked  spirits 
that  feed  on  the  flesh  of  man  !  " 

Krishna,  hearing  of  the  captivity  of  his  grandson,  started 
off  with  his  brother  and  Garuda.  As  he  neared  the  court  of 
King  Bana,  the  "spirits  that  attend  on  Rudra"  opposed  him, 
but  he  vanquished  them.  Then  Mighty  Fever,  an  emanation 
from  Rudra,  having  three  feet  and  three  heads,  barred  his 
path  and  afflicted  Balarama  with  a  burning  heat,  who  clung 
to  Krishna  for  help.  Anticipating  Hahnemann,  the  "fever 
emanating  from  Siva  was  quickly  expelled  from  the  person 
of  Krishna  by  fever  which  he  himself  engendered."  Krishna 
next  overcame  the  five  fires.  Then  Rudra  in  person,  with  the 
Indian  Mars  on  his  right  hand,  advanced  to  protect  Bana. 
Kartikeya,  the  war-god,  was  born  of  six  nymphs,  the  six 
Krittikas  (the  Pleiades).  Rudra  was  defeated  by  Krishna, 
and  Kartikeya  by  Balarama.  Bana  then,  in  his  mighty  car, 
advanced  into  the  thick  of  the  fight.  He  and  Krishna  shot 
arrow  after  arrow  at  each  other,  and  blood  flowed  from  both. 
At  length,  the  Blue  One  took  up  the  terrible  discus  that 
nothing  can  resist.  As  he  was  about  to  hurl  the  great  chakra, 
a  phantom  appeared  before  him  and  veiled  Bana  from  his 
sight.  This  was  the  naked  woman,  Kotavi.  Undeterred  by 
the  apparition,  Krishna  hurled  the  discus  and  lopped  off  in 
succession  all  the  arms  of  Bana.  Rudra  here  interceded,  and 
Bana  was  spared. 

The  great  value  of  the  Purana  legend  is  the  bold  way 
in  which  the  inner  teaching  is  blurted  out.  In  the  circle  of 
twelve  stones,  one  in  spring  and  one  in  autumn  represented 
Rudra,  and  these  were  worshipped  according  to  the  position 
of  the  Pleiades.  Thus  Rudra,  Siva,  and  Kartikeya,  the  son 
of  the  Pleiades,  figure  without  much  disguise,  and  so  does  Bana 
with  his  thousand  arms.  Bana  is  spared,  for  the  quaint  reason 
that  Krishna  confesses  that  Rudra  and  Vishnu  are  one  and  the 
same  person.  The  Indian  triad  is  not  three  individualities, 
but  three  aspects  of  one  God.  Brahma  creates,  Vishnu  pre- 


KRISHNA.  379 

serves,  Siva  destroys.  The  year  is  a  day  of  Brahma  in 
miniature,  and  Brahma  is  the  four  months  of  spring,  Vishnu 
the  four  months  of  summer,  Siva  the  four  months  of  winter. 

Other  adventures  occur  to  the  two  brothers.  Paundraka 
assumes  the  insignia  and  style  of  Krishna.  He  is  supported 
by  the  King  of  Benares.  Krishna  attacks  them  and  sets 
Benares  on  fire  with  his  discus.  Balarama  kills  the  Asuru 
Dwivida,  in*the  form  of  an  ape. 

The  incidents  of  this  portion  of  the  legend,  the  five  fires, 
the  bird  Garuda,  the  Parijata  Tree,  Bana  or  Rudra,  typify  the 
struggle  of  the  devotee  with  his  lower  nature.  The  serpent 
Sesha  issues  from  the  mouth  of  Rama.  This  is  one  form  of 
the  elephant  issuing  from  the  mouth  of  the  sea-monster 
Makara.  The  ape  incident  is  fresh  proof,  I  think,  that  Cancer 
was  once  an  ape. 

Krishna  now  determines  to  practise  yoga,  or  the  initiation 
of  the  mystic.  He  sat  under  a  tree  meditating  on  the 
Supreme  God.  There  is  an  attitude  known  to  the  higher 
initiates,  the  left  leg  is  laid  across  the  right  thigh,  and  the  sole 
of  the  foot  is  turned  outwards.  Buddha  constantly  figures 
thus  in  the  sculptures.  It  is  called,  I  think,  the  swastika 
attitude.  Krishna  was  seated  thus  when  a  huntsman,  Jara, 
mistook  his  foot  for  a  deer,  and  fired  an  arrow  at  it  tipped 
with  iron  from  the  celebrated  club  kaumaudaki.  At  this 
particular  instant  Krishna  had  solved  the  riddle  of  the  uni 
verse,  and  merged  his  spirit  into  that  of  the  universal  Brahma. 

When  Buddhism  was  expelled  from  India  in  the  seventh 
century  A.D.  the  modern  religion  of  Vishnu,  a  form  of 
Buddhism,  stepped  into  its  place,  and  as  India  was  then 
vegetarian  and  water-drinking,  accommodated  itself  to  cir 
cumstances.  But  if  the  present  religion  of  Vishnu  is  modern, 
I  think  the  actual  story  of  Krishna  very  ancient.  Krishna 
is  a  fighting  herdsman.  His  virtues  and  his  vices  belong  to 
a  rude  society.  He  treats  woman  as  a  spoil  of  war.  He 
is  brave,  but  cunning  and  cruel.  The  question  of  geo 
graphy  is  also  important.  Rama's  chief  adventures  are 
about  Oude  and  the  valley  of  the  Ganges.  Krishna,  on 
the  other  hand,  is  born  not  far  from  the  famous  land  of 


38o 


BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


the  seven  rivers  of  the  earlier  Aryas.  Indeed,  his  tribe 
is  pushed  westwards  by  the  incursions  of  fresh  hordes  from 
Bactria.  All  the  local  colour  of  the  legend  is  in  keeping. 
We  see  nomad  herdsmen  sleeping  under  their  bullock  carts, 
and  under  the  pressure  of  prolific  neighbours  wresting  fresh 
pastures  from  the  earlier  races.  Both  legends  were  probably 
sung  in  short  ballads  by  the  people  long  before  they  were 
elaborated.  And  the  legend  of  Krishna  has  one  immense 
advantage  over  that  of  Rama,  his  death  is  described.  His 
body  is  left  on  a  tree  to  be  devoured  by  carrion,  an  Aryan 
custom  of  the  date  of  Zarathustra's  secession.  His  relics  are 
prized,  and  traditions  of  a  Kshetra  being  built  over  them  are 
preserved.  We  hear  nothing  of  Rama's  dead  body.  This  is 
suspicious.  The  body  of  a  genuine  historical  hero  or  saint 
was  more  prized  after  death  than  in  life. 

The  story  of  Krishna  is  made  very  modern  by  writers 
who  subordinate  philology  to  theology.  Thus  a  writer,  Dr. 
Lorinser,  has  written  an  elaborate  work  to  maintain  that  the 
idea  of  Krishna  is  plagiarized  from  Christianity.  In  parallel 
columns  he  shows  the  identity  of  much  of  the  teachings  of 
the  "  Bhagavad  Gita  "  with  that  of  the  New  Testament,  and 
notably  of  the  Fourth  Gospel.  I  have  only  room  for  a  few 
of  these  citations. 


They  who  honour  me  are  in  me 
and  I  in  them. 

I  am  the  origin  of  all.  From 
me  everything  proceeds. 


I  am  the  beginning,  middle,  and 
end  of  all  things. 

Among  letters  I  am  A. 

From  all  sins  will  I  free  them. 
Be  not  sorrowful. 
No  one  knows  me. 

Dwelling  in  the  heart  of  every 
man. 

They  who  eat  of  the  immortal 
food  of  the  sacrifice  pass  into  the 
eternal  Brahma. 


Dwelleth  in  Me,  and  I  in  him 
(John  vi.  56). 

For  of  Him,  and  through  Him, 
and  to  Him,  are  all  things  (Rom. 
xi.  36). 

I  am  the  first  and  the  last  (Rev. 

i-  i7). 

I  am  Alpha  and  Omega  (Rev. 
i.  8). 

Be  of  good  cheer.  Thy  sins  be 
forgiven  thee  (Matt.  ix.  2). 

No  man  hath  seen  God  at  any 
time  (John  i.  18). 

Sanctify  the  Lord  God  in  your 
hearts  (i  Pet.  iii.  15). 

I  am  the  living  bread  which 
came  down  from  heaven.  If  any 
man  eat  of  this  bread  he  shall  live 
for  ever  (John  vi.  51). 


KRISHNA.  381 

Dead  in  me.  For  ye  are  dead,  and  your  life 

is  hid    with    Christ   in    God   (Col. 
iii.  2). 

As  opposed  to  this,  an  intelligent  native  convert,  the  Rev. 
K.  M.  Banerjea,  chaplain  to  the  Bishop  of  Calcutta,  has 
shown  how  unwise  it  is  to  tell  the  natives  of  India  that  their 
creeds  are  all  borrowed  from  Christianity.  He  shows  that  the 
ideas  of  the  Incarnation,  of  Christ  as  the  Creator  of  heaven 
and  earth,  and  of  Christ  offered  up  as  a  sacrifice  for  the  whole 
world,  are  familiar  to  all  Hindoos  in  books  admitted  now 
to  be  long  anterior  to  the  Bible.1  Let  us  listen  to  the  "  Rig 
Veda." 

"  Hiranyagarbha  arose  in  the  beginning.  Born  he  was 
the  one  Lord  of  all  things  existing.  He  established  the  earth 
and  the  sky.  To  what  god  shall  we  offer  our  oblation  ? 

"  He  who  gives  breath,  who  gives  strength,  whose  commands 
all,  even  the  gods,  reverence,  whose  shadow  is  immortality, 
whose  shadow  is  death.  To  what  God  shall  we  offer  our 
oblation  ?  .  .  . 

"Prajapati,  no  other  than  thou  is  lord  over  all  these  created 
things.  To  what  God  shall  we  offer  our  oblation  ? " 

Mr.  Banerjea  shows  that  Prajapati  or  Purusha,  is  the 
divine  Man,  like  Christ  ;  that  he  is  the  Lord  of  a  kalpa  or 
dispensation — the  maker  of  heaven  and  earth.  Dr.  Muir,  too, 
has  shown  that  many  of  the  phrases  which  Dr.  Lorinser 
imagines  to  have  been  taken  from  the  Fourth  Gospel,  are  in 
the  "  Rig  Veda." 

"  O  Indra,  we  sages  have  been  in  thee." 
"  This  worshipper,  O  Agni,  hath  been  in  thee  !    O  son  of 
strength."3 

In  point  of  fact,  a  triad  like  that  of  Philo  and  the  Thera- 
peuts  has  existed  in  India  from  the  earliest  days. 

"  The  deities  invoked,"  says  Colebrooke  in  his  "  Essay  on 
the  Vedas,"  "  appear  on  a  cursory  inspection  of  the  Veda  to 
to  be  as  various  as  the  authors  of  the  prayers  addressed  to 
them  ;  but,  according  to  the  most  ancient  annotations  of  the 

1  "  The  Relation  between  Christianity  and  Hinduism/'  p.  2. 

2  "  Rig  Veda,"  x.  121.  i.  3  "  Metrical  Translations,"  p.  14. 


382  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

Indian  scripture,  those  numerous  names  of  persons  and  things 
are  all  resolvable  into  different  titles  of  three  deities,  and 
ultimately  of  one  God."1 

The  triune  nature  of  the  Vedic  divinity  is  accentuated  all 
through  the  hymns  with  every  conceivable  play  of  fancy. 
Knowledge  of  God  is  called  "  triple  knowledge  ; "  his  revela 
tion  the  "  triple  Veda,"  the  "  triple  speech."  "  May  the  soft 
wind  waft  to  us  a  pleasant  healing  !  May  mother  earth  and 
father  heaven  convey  it  to  us !  ...  We  invoke  that  lord  of 
living  beings,"  etc.2  This  lord  of  living  beings  is  Purusha, 
the  god-man,  born  of  the  inactive  god  and  Aditi  or  Sophia. 
This  birth  was  typified  in  every  rite.  The  fire-churn  was  in 
the  form  of  the  swastika,  the  fish  of  the  zodiac,  and  from  it 
Agni  was  born,  as  Krishna  from  the  black  and  white  hairs,  at 
every  sacrifice.  He  was  also  the  Sisur  Jatah  produced  by 
the  offerings  of  rice  and  milk. 

I  will  give  what  the  Scotch  call  a  paraphrase  of  a  fine 
hymn  to  Vishnu,  in  the  "Vishnu  Purana,"  which  seems  to  set 
forth  Indian  theosophy  very  clearly. 

"  Ruler  of  gods  and  kings, 
Thou  dost  enfold  the  spaces  near  and  far  ; 
System  and  shining  orb  and  peopled  star 

With  thy  Garuda  wings. 

"  For  their  fantastic  creeds 
Men  fashion  gods  with  legs  and  arms  of  stone  ; 
No  legs  nor  arms  hast  thou  of  gods  alone, 

Though  near  all  needs. 

"  Eyes  hast  thou  not,  nor  ears  ; 
Yet  hearest  thou  all  sounds  that  shake  the  air, 
The  whispered  villainy,  the  baby's  prayer, 

Man's  uttered  wants  and  fears. 

"  Seekers  of  heavenly  light, 
Two  secrets  know — the  Higher  Wisdom  this — 
The  Lower  Wisdom  probes  the  blank  abyss 

Of  earthly  appetite. 


1  "  Essays,"  vol.  i.  p.  25.  2  "  Rig  Veda,"  i. 


KRISHNA.  383 

"  It  learns  how  kings  are  crowned  ; 
How  Brahmins  chant,  and  what  will  fatten  kine  ; 
Seeks  gold  in  streams,  and  jewels  in  the  mine  ; 

Makes  wealth  abound. 

"  To  the  dim  Far  away 

The  Higher  Wisdom  turns  with  hungered  eye  ; 
It  scans  the  stars  uncounted  in  the  sky, 

It  bursts  its  bonds  of  clay. 

"  It  probes  the  heart  of  man  ; 
He  forms  the  potent  longing  in  his  brain, 
Desire  deceives,  and  every  hope  is  vain  ; 

His  life  one  baffled  plan. 

"  He  looks  within  to  find 
Ideas  of  life  distinct  from  mortal  scheming, 
Fancies  and  wants  transcending  mortal  dreaming. 

He  sees  thy  mind. 

"  Both  of  these  lores  art  thou  ! 
We  image  thee  a  man  with  human  breast, 
Gored  with  the  shaft  of  hate  and  love's  unrest, 

A  man  with  fevered  brow  ! 

"  As  God  we  view  thee  too, 
All  wise,  all  good !  with  thy  three  mystic  paces, 
The  welkin's  unimaginable  spaces 

Were  overlapped,  Vishnu  ! 

"  Thou  art  the  formless  Brahm, 
The  God  that  dwells  in  the  awakened  heart, 
The  state  our  mystic  dreamers  know  in  part, 

Pure,  passionless,  and  calm. 

"  Earth's  wailings  sound  afar, 
Crime  rules,  and  Cruelty  is  throned  on  high  ; 
Among  the  seven  rishis  in  the  sky, 

Glitters  the  mystic  star. 

"  It  heralds  thy  new  birth, 
Thy  glorious  avatara  come  again  ! 
To  bring  fresh  comfort  to  the  sons  of  men, 

Thy  holy  feet  touch  earth." 


384  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 


CHAPTER   XXVII. 
THE  LEGEND  OF  THE  FIVE  SONS  OF  PANDU. 

DR.  J.  VON  HAHN,  in  analyzing  the  Aryan  myth,  sets  forth 
amongst  its  characteristics  the  incident  that  the  hero  must 
found  a  city.1  In  the  epic  of  the  Five  Sons  of  Pandu  this  is 
a  prominent  event. 

The  country  round  modern  Delhi  is  sad  to  the  thoughtful. 
The  step  of  the  traveller  is  over  crumbling  civilizations  and 
the  overturned  spires  of  dead  nationalities.  Here  is  a  column 
on  which  Asoka,  the  Buddhist,  preached  peace  and  toleration. 
There  is  a  ruined  fane  where  crowds  of  unarmed  Hindus  fell 
before  the  scimitar  of  the  bloody  Nadir  Shah.  Around  for 
miles  and  miles  are  the  ruins,  pile  upon  pile,  of  many  cities. 
In  ancient  days  the  enervated  Indians  of  the  plain  always  fell 
a  prey  to  the  hardier  races  that  emerged  from  the  direction 
of  Central  Asia,  through  the  passes  of  Afghanistan.  Elephants 
in  thousands,  and  unwieldy  crowds  of  horsemen  and  spear 
men  were  hurried  northward  to  oppose.  But  with  Baber, 
Alexander,  or  Nadir  Shah,  the  result  was  always  the  same. 
The  onslaught  of  the  hardier  races  resulted  in  a  vast  rout. 

Here  Lake  won  India,  and  Archdale  Wilson  reconquered 
it.  But  the  legend  of  the  Five  Sons  of  Pandu  narrates  a  still 
more  fierce  struggle.  On  this  field  the  Aryas  gained  a  great 
victory  over  the  Daisyas  or  black  races,  and  then  founded 
Indraprastha  (ancient  Delhi). 

The  Aryas  came  from  fabled  Meru,  with  its  seven  famous 
streams.  Sir  H.  Rawlinson  believes  these  to  be  the  seven 
head  streams  of  the  Oxus.  Other  writers  point  to  "the  great 

1  "  Sagwissenschaftliche  Studien."    Jena,  1876. 


THE  MAHABHARATA,  385 

plateau,  walled  to  the  north  by  the  Altai  and  to  the  south  by 
the  Himalaya,  from  which  the  great  rivers  flow  northward 
eastward,  and  southward,  through  Siberia,  China,  and  India,' 
to  the  Arctic,  Pacific,  and  Indian  oceans."1  It  is  asserted 
that  the  four  great  races  of  men,  the  Arya,  the  Semite,  the 
Turanian,  the  Cushite,  all  came  from  this  central  table-land, 
as  evidenced  by  their  common  legends. 

"  Not  far  from  the  foot  of  the  colossal  Dhawalagiri,  and 
Nanda-devi,  and  near  the  little  town  of  Gartokh,  lies  the 
group  of  lakes  called  Ravana-Rhada,  or  Manasarowar.  From 
these,  or  within  a  radius  of  thirty  miles  from  the  central  one 
of  the  group,  the  four  greatest  rivers  of  India  take  their  rise  ; 
the  Indus  flowing  to  the  north,  the  Ganges  and  its  chief 
branch  the  Gogra  to  the  south,  the  Brahmaputra  to  the  east, 
and  the  Sutlej  to  the  west.  The  Ganges,  Brahmaputra,  and 
Sutlej  rise  in  the  lakes." 2  Mr.  Stanley  holds,  with  many 
other  writers,  that  Cashmir  and  Tibet  were  the  paradise  of 
Moses,  Manu,  and  Zarathustra  ;  and  that  the  serpents  who 
drove  them  forth  were  the  foaming  torrents  of  a  great  debacle. 
This  region  fits  in  with  Zarathustra's  description  of  the 
"  delicious  region,"  and  that  suggested  by  Sir  H.  Rawlinson 
does  not 

"  Ahura  Mazda  said  to  the  holy  Zarathustra,  '  I  made  most 
holy  Zarathrustra  into  a  delicious  spot,  what  was  previously 
quite  uninhabitable.  ...  As  the  first  and  best  regions  and 
countries,  I,  who  am  Ahura  Mazda,  created  Aryanam  Vaejo  of 
good  capability.  Thereupon,  in  opposition  to  it,  Angro 
Mainyus,  the  death-dealing,  created  a  mighty  serpent  and 
snow,  the  work  of  the  devas. 

"  Ten  months  of  winter  are  there,  two  months  of  summer. 
Seven  months  of  summer  are  there,  five  months  of  winter. 
The  latter  are  cold  as  to  water,  cold  as  to  earth,  cold  as  to 
trees.  There  is  midwinter,  the  heart  of  winter." 

This  seems  to  mean,  as  Mr.  Stanley  plausibly  suggests, 
that  the  region  of  the  Aryas  (Aryanam  Vaejo)  was  at  first 
temperate,  and  then  a  great  change  of  climate  set  in.  Snows 

1  Stanley,  "  Future  Religion  of  the  World,"  p.  88. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  100. 


2   C 


386  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

that  gave  only  two  months  summer  instead  of  seven ;  a 
"  flood  "  or  inundation,  typified  in  myths  by  the  serpent.  This 
flooding  of  the  valley  was  the  cause  of  the  migration  from  this 
paradise,  and  is,  perhaps,  the  deluge  story  common  to  the 
various  legends  of  its  inhabitants. 

The  Aryas,  when  they  came  to  India,  had  five  gods,  and 
a  friend  of  mine  who  has  studied  India  is  convinced  that  the 
Rishi  Pandu  is  in  corrupted  form  Pan  Deo  (five  gods). 

Pandu  himself  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  parentage  of 
his  five  celebrated  sons.  Having  accidentally  killed  a  rishi, 
who  had  assumed  the  form  of  a  deer,  he  had  become  an 
ascetic  celibate.  He  had  two  wives,  Kunti  and  Madri.  Kunti, 
with  an  incantation  given  to  her  by  an  ancient  rishi  or  adept, 
brought  down  three  gods  from  the  skies,  one  after  another  ; 
Dharma,  who  was  the  father  of  Yudhishthira  ;  Vayu,  the 
wind,  who  begat  Bhima,  the  Indian  Hercules  ;  the  great  Indra 
himself,  who  was  the  father  of  Arjuna.  The  other  wife  sum 
moned  the  Aswins,  or  celestial  twins,  and  they  performed  the 
impossible  physiological  feat  of  a  double  paternity. 

The  wives  are  plainly  the  black  and  white  mother  in  the 
ecliptic,  and  the  five  gods  the  four  seasons,  the  four  points  of 
heaven,  one  of  which  is  Gemini.  They  are  the  five  heavenly 
Buddhas,  the  five  creative  ALons  of  the  Gnostics.  As  the 
Pleiades  regulated  early  agriculture,  perhaps  they  suggested 
the  number  five. 

Shortly  after  the  birth  of  his  illustrious  sons,  Pandu  dies, 
and  the  widows  draw  lots  which  shall  commit  widow  immola 
tion  in  his  honour.  Madri  mounts  the  pyre.  It  has  been 
remarked  by  M.  Senart  that  the  mother  of  the  demi-god,  the 
Buddha,  the  Krishna,  always  dies  in  seven  days.  My  ex 
planation  is  that  the  year  opens  with  the  celebration  of  the 
festival  of  the  Black  Durga,  and  when  the  sun  enters  Aries, 
seven  days  later,  she  is  drowned  or  consumed. 

The  five  sons  of  Pandu  are  brought  up  in  the  palace  of 
their  uncle  Dhritarashtra,  King  of  Hastinapura.  The  throne 
belonged  by  right  to  Yudhishthira,  the  elder  boy.  A  brood 
of  a  hundred  first  cousins,  hatched  of  an  egg  like  a  scorpion, 
were  the  playfellows  of  the  young  princes.  These  cousins 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  387 

hated  their  playmates,  and  from  their  earliest  years  tried  to 
poison  them  and  otherwise  get  rid  of  them.  Duryodhana  was 
the  name  of  the  leading  spirit  amongst  these  hopeful  infants. 
It  was  remarked  at  his  birth  that  he  at  once  gave  forth  dis 
cordant  sounds  like  the  braying  of  many  asses.  The  vultures 
of  the  air  and  the  foul  jackals  echoed  these  noises  of  ill-omen, 
and  a  terrible  tempest  began  to  roar.  The  sky  was  on  fire. 
Duryodhana  is  plainly  Rudra  in  the  sign  of  Scorpio.  This  is 
confirmed  by  the  fact  that  he  had  one  hundred  brothers,  all 
born  at  a  birth.  Rudra,  as  we  have  shown,  has  a  hundred 
arms. 

Then  certain  soothsayers  came  to  King  Dhritarashtra  and 
said  to  him :  "  The  portents,  O  king,  are  terrible.  Your 
nephew,  Yudhishthira,  is  heir  to  the  crown.  This  son  of  yours, 
born  amidst  the  roaring  of  wild  beasts,  presages  great  calami 
ties  to  your  offspring.  The  wise  have  said,  *  Sacrifice  one 
man  for  the  safety  of  a  family.  Sacrifice  a  family  for  the 
benefit  of  a  village.  Sacrifice  a  village  for  a  nation.  Sacrifice 
the  whole  world  to  save  one's  soul.'  Make  away  with  your 
son  to  save  his  brothers.  If  he  lives,  they  will  be  destroyed." 

This  allusion  to  human  sacrifices  shows  the  great  antiquity 
of  the  legend.  At  the  date  of  the  "  Yagur  Veda  "  the  form  of 
tying  the  human  victims  to  posts  was  alone  gone  through. 
No  actual  immolation  took  place. 

Dr.  J.  von  Hahn  sets  down  that  another  token  of  the 
hero  of  Aryan  legend  is  that  he  must  be  driven  forth  from 
his  home  at  an  early  age,  owing  to  tokens  and  warnings  of 
his  future  greatness.  In  the  case  of  the  five  sons  of  Pandu 
this  quickly  came  about.  Arjuna  learnt  the  use  of  the  bow, 
and  Bhima  that  of  the  club.  They  became  so  expert,  that 
the  soothsayers  were  alarmed,  and  this  time  recommended 
the  king  to  make  away  with  them.  Alarmed,  he  consents  to 
an  infamous  plan  set  on  foot  by  Duryodhana  to  burn  the 
five  sons  of  Pandu.  But  Vidura,  the  uncle  of  the  youths,  was 
an  adept  in  occult  wisdom.  By  means  of  his  arts  he  became 
acquainted  with  the  peril  that  menaced  them.  He  packed  off 
silently  the  mother  and  her  five  sons  in  a  large  boat  on  the 
Ganges.  Although  this  occurred,  as  some  have  said,  before 


388  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  siege  of  Troy,  the  large  boats  of  the  Ganges  are  as 
archaic  now  as  then.  In  their  boat,  the  fugitives,  aided 
by  the  current,  dropped  down  to  Varanavata,  the  modern 
Allahabad. 

But  the  malice  of  a  young  man  like  Duryodhana  can  go 
faster  than  a  boat  drifting  with  the  stream.  He  despatched 
an  agent,  named  Purochana,  to  Varanavata.  This  man  was 
entrusted  with  the  details  of  an  infamous  plot  He  summoned 
workmen  to  erect  a  palace  of  great  magnificence,  to  be  called 
the  House  of  Delight  This  palace  had  four  great  halls.  It 
was  erected  at  some  little  distance  from  the  town.  Hemp, 
and  resin,  and  shellac  were  plentifully  used  in  its  construc 
tion.  The  shellac  was  mixed  with  oil  and  grease  and  other 
inflammable  materials.  The  palace,  which  it  is  announced 
was  erected  very  rapidly,  was  probably  of  the  pattern  of  the 
veneered  wooden  structures  of  Chinese  architecture.  All 
things  likely  to  inflame  quickly  were  left  carelessly  lying  about 
"  Of  a  truth,"  said  an  observer,  "  this  is  not  the  House  of 
Delight,  but  the  House  of  Calamity." 

The  fugitives  were  dwelling  in  another  building.  They 
were  invited  by  Purochana  to  occupy  the  House  of  Delight. 
The  inhabitants  of  Allahabad  had  been  very  civil  to  them, 
especially  the  better-to-do  folks.  The  Aryas  of  those  days 
drew  a  line  between  "carriage  company"  (rathinam)  and 
company  that  had  no  carnages.  The  Aryas  of  Cheltenham 
and  Torquay  are  credited  with  formulating  similar  distinc 
tions. 

The  subtle  Purochana  did  his  best  to  lull  the  victims  into 
a  false  sense  of  security  whilst  he  waited  for  a  propitious  day 
for  his  crime.  Exquisite  food  and  delicious  drinks,  soft 
couches  and  royal  thrones  were  provided  ;  silver  vases,  gold 
dishes,  and  sumptuous  furniture. 

But  Vidura  afar,  by  means  of  his  occult  arts,  detected  the 
great  danger  that  threatened  his  nephews.  He  sent  an 
emissary  to  give  them  warning. 

"  I  am  a  miner,"  said  a  stranger  one  day.  "  I  come  from 
Vidura.  On  the  fifteenth  day  of  the  dark  half  of  this  month, 
Purochana  will  try  to  burn  you  all  alive."  It  was  arranged 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  389 

that  this  expert  miner  should  secretly  prepare  a  subterranean 
passage  for  the  escape  of  Kunti  and  her  five  sons. 

When  this  was  finished,  one  night,  a  Nishadi  woman,  one 
of  the  wild  tribes  of  the  Vindhya  mountains,  "vexed  by 
Famine  and  pushed  on  by  Death,"  as  the  poem  tersely  puts 
it,  arrived  at  the  House  of  Delight  with  her  five  barbarian 
sons.  They  were  feasted,  and  became  very  intoxicated.  It 
seemed  to  the  five  sons  of  Pandu  that  the  moment  of  escape 
had  come. 

At  once  Bhimasena  the  Hercules  applied  a  torch  to  the 
room  where  the  treacherous  Purochana  was  sleeping,  and 
promptly  disposed  of  him.  He  also  set  a  light  to  the  four 
doorways  of  the  House  of  Shellac.  In  a  short  time  the  whole 
building  was  a  vast  conflagration.  The  citizens  of  Varanavata 
arrived  in  great  terror.  Afar  the  tempest  muttered  hoarsely. 

Kunti  and  her  five  sons  hurried  rapidly  through  the  sub 
terranean  passage.  They  escaped  unseen  in  the  darkness  of 
night  to  a  forest.  The  mother  grew  weary,  but  her  strong 
son  Bhimasena  carried  her  in  his  arms  like  an  infant.  The 
poor  drunken  Nishadi  woman  and  her  five  sons  were  con 
sumed.  Their  corpses  were  found,  and  the  inhabitants  of 
Varanavata  wept  for  the  death  of  the  five  sons  of  Pandu.  By- 
and-by  the  fugitives  grew  thoroughly  exhausted,  and  they 
slept  on  cold  mother  earth.  Bhimasena  alone  kept  awake  to 
watch  over  them.  The  sight  of  his  queenly  mother  sleeping 
like  a  beggar  under  a  tree  vexed  this  stout-hearted  youth. 

"The  poem  of  the  '  Mahabharata,' "  says  the  missionary 
Ward,  is  deemed  so  holy,  "  that  it  purifies  the  place  in  which 
it  is  read."  1  He  adds  that  a  Brahmin  may  not  enter  a  village 
where  a  copy  of  it  is  not  to  be  found. 

On  the  other  hand,  our  Sanskrit  professors  are  constantly 
pointing  out  to  us  that  this  celebrated  poem,  far  from  being 
very  holy,  is  often  very  much  the  reverse.  Thus  Professor 
Monier  Williams  has  some  virtuous  indignation  at  the  five 
sons  of  Pandu  for  their  treacherous  conduct  in  leaving  the 
poor  Nishadi  woman  and  her  sons  to  burn.2  Plainly,  he 

1  "  The  Hindoos,"  vol.  iii.  p.  279. 

2  "  Indian  Epic  Poetry/'  p.  54. 


390  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

would  never  send  for  a  copy  of  the  volume  if  he  wished  to 
deodorize  his  native  village  morally.  How  is  it  that  these 
Pundits  differ  so  radically  ?  Simply  because  the  literal 
English  mind  cannot  get  beyond  the  letter  of  the  scripture, 
and  the  Hindus  declare  that  the  letter  is  only  for  the  vulgar. 

In  the  Mundaka  Upanishad  of  the  "  Atharva  Veda,"  Sau- 
naka,  a  wealthy  householder,  questioned  the  Rishi  Angiras,who 
told  him  that  there  were  two  sorts  of  knowledge.  There  were 
the  four  Vedas,  the  "Rig  Veda,"  the  "Yagur  Veda,"  the  "Sama 
Veda,"  and  the  "Atharva  Veda  ; "  these  were  the  scriptures  of 
the  "inferior  knowledge."  But  the  "superior  knowledge"  is  not 
to  be  gained  in  books.  It  evaded  "  rites  and  rules  of  grammar." 
It  was  the  interior  knowledge  of  the  Omniscient.1  The  object 
of  scriptures  was  to  conceal  as  well  as  to  inculcate  the  highest 
truths.  It  was  judged  that  most  men  could  not  receive  them. 
Can  we  get  at  the  secret  meaning  of  this  episode  ? 

On  the  surface,  the  story  of  the  "  House  of  Shellac "  is 
mystical.  The  apparatus  of  villainy  and  the  expedients  to  foil 
it  are  suspiciously  elaborate.  Why  build  a  sumptuous  palace, 
if  you  want  to  murder  half  a  dozen  unbefriended  fugitives  ? 
Why  construct  toilsome  subterranean  galleries,  if  you  want  to 
run  away  from  an  assassin  ?  But  if,  as  I  have  suggested, 
Kunti  and  her  sons  mean  the  new  year  and  the  four  seasons, 
then  Nishadi  and  her  sons  mean  the  old  year  and  the  four 
seasons.  It  was  necessary  to  destroy  these  by  fire,  as  it  is 
the  appearance  of  Agni  as  Aries  that  puts  an  end  to  them. 
It  was  necessary  that  Kunti  should  escape  through  a  cavern, 
the  symbol  of  earth-life. 

The  fugitives  escape  to  a  forest  and  slaughter  a  mighty 
demon,  who  falls  headlong  "  like  an  ox."  They  then  attend 
a  great  festival,  where  the  beautiful  princess  Draupadi  appears 
as  a  matchless  prize  if  any  competitor  can  bend  a  mighty 
bow.  Duryodhana  and  the  wicked  cousins  try  and  fail. 
Arjuna  comes  forward  and  succeeds.  Draupadi  became  the 
common  wife  of  the  five  sons  of  Pandu.  In  reality,  the  five 
sons  were  one  man. 

When  the  Kuru  faction    returned  to  Hastinapura,  they 
1  Colebrooke.  "  Essays,"  vol.  1.  p.  94. 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  391 

talked  over  the  striking  events  of  the  Swayamvara  and  came 
to  the  conclusion  that  the  successful  strangers,  for  they  were 
in  disguise,  could  be  no  other  than  Bhima  and  Arjuna  escaped 
from  the  old  snares.  Many  schemes  were  proposed  in  the 
crisis.  Duryodhana  was  in  favour  of  assassination,  Kama 
proposed  manly  and  open  warfare,  Vidura  and  the  holy  men 
suggested  compromise.  This  last  proposal  was  adopted,  and 
half  the  kingdom  was  given  to  the  five  sons  of  Pandu.  In  the 
terrible  jungle  of  Khandava  Prastha  they  were  now  to  found 
the  city  of  Indraprastha,  or  Delhi. 

The  table-land  by  Indra's  heavenly  mount.  This  is  the 
literal  meaning  of  Indraprastha.  Indraprastha  is  heaven,  and 
Kuru  Kshetra,  the  real  head-quarters  of  the  Kurus,  is  called 
hell  in  one  or  two  of  the  legends,  without  any  disguise.  The 
sun  each  year  builds  up  a  celestial  kingdom,  the  kingdom  of 
summer. 

The  account  of  Indraprastha  states  that  "  it  was  adorned 
like  paradise."  After  preliminary  sacrifices  a  propitious  spot 
had  been  measured  out.  Soon  upsprang  mighty  ramparts 
and  towers  like  the  gorged  clouds  of  autumn.  White  palaces 
pierced  the  skies  like  the  pinnacles  of  Meru.  The  great  gates 
were  like  the  bird  Garuda  with  its  wings  outspread.  The 
ditches  in  front  of  the  ramparts  were  like  the  ocean.  The 
streets  were  broad.  In  many  gardens  the  asoka  and  the 
feathery  pippala,  the  branching  palm  and  the  bamboo,  the 
sweet  pink  laurel  and  the  bignonia  were  heavy  with  bright 
and  musical  birds.  Upon  the  broad  surfaces  of  the  lakes, 
which  were  fringed  with  the  blue  lotos,  swam  red  geese  and 
white  swans.  Cunning  pictures  were  in  the  halls  of  the 
palaces.  Indraprastha  sparkled  like  a  city  in  the  clouds,  like 
the  heaven  of  Indra. 

The  city  of  the  poet's  dream,  the  Atlantis,  the  Indra 
prastha,  is  generally  the  exact  opposite  of  the  city  wherein 
he  dwells.  Applying  this  test  to  the  «  Mahabharata,"  we  might 
get  a  great  deal  of  insight  into  the  actual  India  of  the  period. 
'  In  Indraprastha,  every  poor  man  had  a  settled  occupation,  for 
all  enemies  were  exterminated,  and  truth  was  maintained. 
Agriculture  flourished.  Indra  sent  rain  exactly  as  it  was 


392  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

called  for,  and  the  reason  is  a  curious  one.  The  rich  nobles 
gave  plenty  of  gifts  to  the  Brahmins.  Commerce  flourished 
also,  thanks  to  the  supervision  of  the  king ;  and  no  favourite 
could  obtain  an  unjust  decree.  Drought  was  unknown,  and 
inundations,  pestilence,  and  fever,  for  the  department  of 
priestly  meteorology  was  well  worked.  A  poet  who  sees 
everywhere  around  him  suborned  justice,  and  violence,  and 
spoliation  ;  and  who  is  liable  at  any  moment  to  be  himself 
offered  up  to  Rudra  as  a  captive  of  war  might  well  indulge  in 
such  happy  dreams. 

Seated  on  thrones,  the  founders  of  Indraprastha  dispensed 
patriarchal  justice  to  all  who  sought  it.  They  also  enlarged 
their  domains  by  successful  war.  One  day,  a  Brahmin  had 
his  cows  stolen  from  him.  He  appealed  to  Arjuna,  but  the 
arms  of  the  community  were  in  the  king's  house,  and  it  was 
the  turn  of  the  king  to  possess  the  beautiful  Draupadi  for  a 
week.  It  had  been  arranged  that  any  son  of  Pandu  who 
disturbed  his  brother  under  these  circumstances  should  be 
banished  to  the  forest  for  twelve  years.  Arjuna,  balanced 
between  duty  and  exile,  chose  the  path  of  duty.  He  righted 
the  wrongs  of  the  poor  Brahmin,  and  then  went  into  voluntary 
exile  in  the  forest,  like  Rama.  When  there,  he  puts  out  a 
burning  wood,  and  rescues  an  Undine  in  a  lake — the  fire  and 
water  ordeals  of  the  mysteries.  Then,  assisted  by  Krishna, 
the  five  sons  of  Pandu  capture  Magadha  after  a  severe  fight. 
As  Krishna,  acting  as  charioteer,  drives  Arjuna  along,  the  bird 
Garuda  comes  down  and  perches  on  his  banner. 

An  episode  of  the  "  Mahabharata"  illustrates  the  crisis  of  the 
story.  It  is  recorded  that  Nala,  King  of  Nishada,  fell  in  love 
with  the  beautiful  Damayanti,  and  won  her  at  a  Swayamvara 
held  by  her  father  the  King  of  Berar.  Sani,  a  baffled  suitor 
and  a  malevolent  being,  cozens  Nala  out  of  his  kingdom  at  a 
game  of  dice.  The  lovers,  stripped  of  their  possessions,  repair 
to  a  forest ;  and  the  king,  finding  the  life  too  hard  for  his 
delicate  wife,  leaves  her  sleeping  under  a  tree,  hoping  that 
that  will  induce  her  to  return  to  her  father's  house.  Lament 
ing,  she  seeks  her  husband  over  many  a  weary  mile,  and 
eventually  becomes  maid  of  honour  to  a  certain  queen.  Nala 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  393 

repairs  to  the  same  court,  but  he  has  become  so  black  that  no 
one  can  recognize  him.  He  engages  himself  as  a  cook. 
Eventually  Damayanti  recognizes  her  husband,  and  the  pair 
recover  their  kingdom.  Here  we  have  the  backbone  of  the 
"  Mahabharata  ;  "  for  the  heroes  also  disguise  themselves  as 
menials.  A  king  becomes  a  slave  at  the  constellation  of 
Libra.  Whether  this  probably  very  old  legend  was  the  original 
form  of  the  Mahabharata  legend  would  be  a  curious  inquiry. 

This  gives  in  epitome  the  story  of  the  five  sons  of  Pandu. 
They  are  invited  to  a  great  feast  by  the  treacherous  Kurus 
who  have  hatched  another  plot.  This  is  to  inveigle  Arjuna 
into  a  gambling  bout  with  a  noted  cheat.  He  stakes  his  gold, 
his  jewels,  his  dominions.  He  stakes  his  people,  his  brothers, 
his  wife.  He  loses  at  every  bout.  The  feast  of  course  is  the 
feast  of  Durga,  who  is  also  worshipped  as  Lakshmi  (whence 
our  word  "  luck  ")  at  this  season,  and  all  the  natives  still 
gamble  immensely  at  the  game  of  Pasha.  The  gambling  is 
really  the  mysterious  destiny  that  mortals  see  around  them, 
which  gives  us  health,  life,  joy,  friends,  loved  ones,  and  then 
destroys  our  air-built  castles. 

When  the  five  sons  of  Pandu  have  become  the  chattels  of 
the  sons  of  Kuru,  their  clothes  are  torn  off  their  backs.  It  is 
proposed  to  subject  the  beautiful  Draupadi  to  the  same  in 
dignity.  Isis  must  be  unveiled.  Duhsasana  drags  her  into 
the  midst  of  the  assembly  by  the  hair  of  her  head.  This 
rouses  the  terrible  Bhima,  and  the  spoils  won  by  cheating  seem 
likely  to  be  lost  again  through  his  great  rage.  Eventually 
matters  are  compromised.  The  kingdom  was  given  up  to 
Duryodhana  for  twelve  years.  The  five  sons  of  Pandu  agreed 
to  pass  twelve  years  as  ascetics  in  a  forest.  They  were  then 
to  get  back  the  kingdom.  Accompanied  by  poor  Draupadi 
they  set  out  for  the  Kamyaka  jungle  on  the  banks  of  the 
Saraswati. 

This  river  was  as  holy  to  the  early  Aryas  as  the  Ganges 
afterwards  became  to  their  descendants.  Under  instructions 
from  the  Brahmin  Dhaumya  Yudhishthira  practises  yoga  under 
a  tree.  That  of  course  was  the  meaning  of  the  gambling  and 
of  the  brothers  becoming  slaves.  They  had  entered  the 


394  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

mystic  portal  of  the  interior  life.  They  sat  under  the  tree 
where  broods  Garuda,  the  fire-dove.  There  is  a  fine  hymn  to 
this  bird  in  the  epic. 

"  Of  lofty  race  art  thou, 
The  first  of  winged  things  that  cleave  the  sky; 

Thou  art  the  king  of  birds  ! 

Thou  art  a  god  in  heaven  ! 

Agni  thy  name,  and  Wind, 

And  Brahm  the  lotus-born  ; 

Thou  art  the  Holy  Book, 

Thou  art  the  Priceless  Food 

That  touching  mortal  lips  brings  deathless  being. 
Aloft  upon  thy  shining  wings  outspread 
Thou  bear'st  the  splendours  of  the  universe. 

Thou  art  the  sisters  twain, 

That  weave  the  double  woof, 
Rapture  and  pang,  bright  deeds  and  infamy. 
Forth  through  the  gleaming  orbs  that  round  us  sail. 

Forth  through  the  spirit  spheres, 
Impalpable  to  grosser  mortal  ken, 

Thy  fame  is  gloried  near  and  far 
In  all  the  mansions  of  the  infinite. 

The  life  that  came  and  went, 

The  life  that  is  to  be, 

O  mystic  bird  art  thou  ! 

Thy  name  is  Death. 

Thou  art  the  forky  flame  of  smoke, 

That  with  black  wings  that  blot  the  sun, 
Amid  amazement  and  great  quiverings 
Will  scorch  the  systems  and  burn  out  the  life, 

In  the  great  day  of  Brahm. 

Prostrate  before  thy  feet, 
We  beg  protection  from  the  King  of  Birds, 
Whose  sheen  makes  dim  the  flashes  of  the  storm, 

Whose  wings  outroar  the  thunder. 
Thy  flaming  body  fills  us  with  affright, 

We  dread  its  hugeness. 

Temper  thy  blinding  rage, 

Temper  thy  swelling  form, 

Prostrate  we  breathe  our  prayer, 

Be  good  to  us,  sweet  god, 

And  wing  us  peace." 

I  have  said  that  the  brothers  and  Draupadi  eventually 
travesty  themselves  as  servants.  This  is  said  to  be  done  for 
fear  of  Duryodhana  and  his  malice.  I  suspect  they  were 


THE  MAIIABHARATA.  395 

real  slaves  in  the  original  story.  The  transformation  gives 
rise  to  some  clever  comedy.  They  repair  to  the  court  of 
King  Virata  at  Matsya.  Yudhishthira  is  master  of  the 
ceremonies  and  head-dicer  to  the  king.  Bhima  is  cook. 
Nakula  is  groom.  Sahadeva  is  herdsman.  Arjuna  puts  on 
a  woman's  dress,  and  conceals  the  scars  of  the  twanging  bow 
Gandiva  with  many  bracelets  and  trinkets.  He  is  a  eunuch 
in  the  women's  apartments.  The  magic  arms  are  stowed 
away  in  a  hollow  tree  in  a  cemetery.  On  this  a  corpse  is 
swinging.  This  method  of  disposal  of  the  dead  seems  to  give 
the  poem  great  antiquity.  At  the  time  of  the  secession  of 
Zarathustra,  corpses  were  thus  left  to  be  devoured  by  vultures 
and  dogs. 

For  two  thousand  years  at  least  the  "  Mahabharata  "  has 
been  sung  daily  in  all  the  Indian  villages.  For  two  thousand 
years  at  least  its  incidents  have  been  worked  up  into  miracle 
plays  and  acted  at  every  great  mystery  and  festival  of  the 
people.  The  comedy  of  the  disguised  heroes  has  had  its 
share  of  popularity  no  doubt  It  shows  considerable  know 
ledge  of  comedy  intrigue.  The  heroes  in  their  forest  are 
afraid  of  the  malice  of  Duryodhana.  They  don  their  dis 
guises  as  described.  Draupadi  goes  to  the  palace  as  servant 
to  the  queen.  The  favourite  wife  of  King  Virata  is  called 
Sudeshna,  and  she  has  a  brother  a  mighty  warrior,  who  is 
the  commander  of  all  King  Virata's  forces.  This  brother 
is  named  Kichaka.  Brother  and  sister  are  soon  consumed 
with  passion.  One  is  madly  jealous  of  the  beauty  of 
Draupadi  and  fears  her  rivalry  with  King  Virata.  The  other 
is  madly  in  love  with  her.  An  infamous  alliance  is  the  con 
sequence  of  these  powerful  incentives.  Sudeshna  plots  with 
Kichaka  to  effect  the  ruin  of  Draupadi. 

The  bold  commander-in-chief  is  not  long  in  declaring  his 
passion— 

"  Thine  eyes  are  very  large,  O  woman  of  amazing  beauty. 
Thine  eyebrows  are  like  the  petals  of  the  lotus.  Thy  face 
beams  on  mine  eyes  like  the  soft  light  of  the  moon. 

"  Art  thou  Lakshmi  in  person,  or  Modesty,  or  Fame,  or 
Beauty,  or  Auspicious  Fortune  ? 


396  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"  Hast  thou  robbed  Love  of  his  limbs  ? 

"  The  pupils  of  thy  smiling  eyes  are  veiled  by  their  lashes 
as  the  moon  by  a  fleecy  cloud." 

The  honest  warrior  then  proceeds  to  catalogue  her  beauties 
with  an  old-world  literalness  which  shocks  modern  mission 
aries  when  they  hear  these  songs  droned  out  in  the  hush  of 
a  summer  evening,  accompanied  by  the  rude  music  of  an 
Indian  bazaar ;  but  the  general  tone  of  the  narrative  is  lofty, 
and  the  ethics  unswerving.  Kichaka  offers  to  make  all  his 
wives  her  slaves,  and  give  all  his  wealth  to  the  beautiful 
stranger.  Draupadi  frames  her  answers  with  strong  and 
evident  desire  to  avoid  extremes. 

"  My  caste  is  abject.  I  am  a  servant.  I  dress  the  hair 
of  my  mistress. 

"  I  am  the  wife  of  another.  The  wives  of  mortals  are 
sacred.  Remember  thy  duty.  Five  beings,  superhuman, 
strong,  terrible,  watch  over  me.  Thy  craze  to  hold  me  in 
thine  arms  is  like  the  delirium  of  the  sick  man  in  the  presence 
of  the  tomb.  The  sinful  mind  that  feeds  on  desire  tastes 
infamy,  perhaps  death." 

The  bold  warrior  is  not  to  be  frightened.  The  plot 
develops  rapidly,  and  so  do  the  schemes  of  the  impassioned 
brother  and  sister.  She  orders  poor  Draupadi  to  go  to  the 
house  of  Kichaka  alone  in  the  middle  of  the  night.  He 
possesses  a  delicious  beverage.  It  is  to  be  found  in  no  other 
house ;  and  the  queen  is  thirsty.  Poor  Draupadi  remonstrates  : 
"  I  cannot  go  to  his  house,  O  queen.  He  is  immodest,  with 
out  fear,  without  honour.  Love  puffs  him  out  with  an 
insensate  pride." 

The  queen  haughtily  presents  a  golden  vase  to  Draupadi, 
and  orders  her  to  go.  She  is  called  a  voluntary  servant  in 
parts  of  the  narrative  ;  but  it  is  plain,  from  some  of  the  warm 
sapphics  of  the  general,  that  she  was  completely  naked  and  in 
fact  a  slave. 

But  plot  can  be  met  with  counterplot.  Kichaka  has  the 
subtle  Sudeshna  as  an  ally.  Draupadi  confides  her  woe  to 
Bhima.  The  catastrophe  is  tremendous.  Kichaka,  seeing  a 
veiled  female  alone  in  a  solitary  bedroom,  seizes  her  in  his 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  397 

strong  arms,  and  gets  a  return  embrace  which  rather  astonishes 
him.  He  is  enlaced  in  the  terrific  hug  of  the  Indian  Hercules, 
and  his  life  is  literally  squeezed  out  of  him.  This  denouement 
acted  before  a  rude  audience  in  an  Indian  bazaar  would  be 
very  effective.  It  may  have  been  witnessed  by  Alexander  the 
Great  and  Arthur,  Duke  of  Wellington.  According  to  some 
writers,  chronology  is  no  bar  to  Achilles  having  seen  it.  The 
travesty  of  the  five  brothers  may  have  been  seen  by  Buddha, 
Pythagoras,  and  Albert,  Prince  of  Wales.  Who  can  tell  when 
this  felicitous  comedy  was  put  on  the  stage  and  when  it  will 
be  taken  off? 

Our  drama  develops.  The  bold  soldier  Kichaka  had  one 
hundred  brothers,  which  proves  him  to  have  been  of  the  same 
mystic  insect  tribe  as  Scorpio.  To  avenge  his  death,  they 
seize  on  Draupadi,  and  carry  her  off  with  his  much  mangled 
body  to  the  graveyard.  If  she  would  not  be  his  mistress  on 
earth,  she  must  go  to  his  zenana  in  heaven.  Her  cries,  as  they 
are  proceeding  to  burn  her,  attract  the  bold  Bhima.  He  tears 
up  a  tree  in  the  grave-yard,  and  makes  sad  havoc  amongst 
the  children  of  Rudra.  Other  complications  soon  occur.  The 
brave  Kichaka  awed  the  neighbouring  nations,  and  his  death 
was  the  signal  for  much  cattle-lifting  and  many  raids.  Duryo- 
dhana  and  the  sons  of  Kuru  took  part  in  one  of  these  expedi 
tions.  In  another,  Virata  was  seized.  Uttara,  his  son,  to 
rescue  him,  hurried  away  with  an  army.  Arjuna  was  his 
charioteer.  The  boy's  heart  failed  him,  and  he  jumped  out 
and  ran  away.  Arjuna  forced  him  back,  and  recovering  for 
the  nonce  the  terrible  bow  Gandiva,  the  hero  returned  to  the 
fight,  the  boy  this  time  acting  as  the  charioteer.  The 
unrivalled  archer  soon  dispersed  his  foes.  And  to  keep  up 
his  disguise,  he  fathered  all  this  prowess  on  the  young  boy. 
The  donkey  in  the  lion's  skin  is  as  old  as  the  day  of  Arjuna, 
as  old  as  the  world. 

Virata,  once  more  at  liberty,  holds  a  council  of  war.  At 
it  he  is  astonished  to  see  his  head  dancing-master  and  dicer, 
his  head  eunuch,  his  cook,  his  cowherd,  etc.  Krishna  is  there 
likewise,  for  Duryodhana  refuses  to  give  back  the  kingdom 
now  that  the  stipulated  thirteen  years  are  expired.  Krishna 


398  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

counsels  peace,  but  though  he  is  looked  upon  by  both  sides  as 
God  Almighty  on  earth,  no  one  pays  any  attention  to  him. 
The  reason  of  this  is  plain.  At  the  time  he  was  clumsily 
added  to  the  story,  every  man,  woman  and  child  in  the 
humblest  bazaar  knew  every  detail  of  the  great  battle  of  Kuru 
Kshetra.  He  could  not  be  made  to  take  a  prominent  part  in 
it,  for  the  prowess  of  Bhima  and  Arjuna  had  been  sung  by 
countless  wandering  bards.  A  very  lame  explanation  is 
given  that  he  could  not  take  an  active  part  in  the  contest 
because  the  Kurus  were  his  cousins  as  well  as  the  five  sons 
of  Pandu.  When  all  hope  of  peace  has  departed,  he  consents 
to  act  as  charioteer  to  Arjuna. 

A  scene  of  the  Homeric  pattern  takes  place  at  Hastinapura 
when  the  ambassador  of  the  five  sons  of  Pandu  arrives. 
Kama,  the  Achilles  of  the  army  of  the  sons  of  Kuru,  makes  a 
speech  breathing  defiance.  Dhritarashtra,  the  blind  king,  and 
Bhishma  counsel  caution.  Negotiations  continue  for  some 
time  but  without  result. 

Excepting  when  drilled  by  English  or,  French  drill- 
sergeants,  the  barbaric  hordes  of  India  have  always  fought  in 
one  way.  A  Bahador  or  doughty  hero  comes  to  the  front 
and  inspires  his  followers  and  confounds  his  foes  by  a  flood  of 
what  he  calls  gali  (heroic  Billingsgate).  He  compares  the 
first  to  mighty  elephants  in  the  rutting  season  and  Bengal 
tigers.  He  compares  his  foes  to  pigs,  to  owls,  and  throws 
serious  doubts  on  the  question  of  their  birth  in  lawful  wedlock. 
It  has  been  the  fate  of  the  present  writer  to  witness  an  engage 
ment  where  this  ancient  Indian  method  of  warfare  was  adopted. 
The  bow  Gandiva  twanged,  and  arrows  fell  thickly  amongst 
our  sepoys.  The  drum  of  Rudra  kept  up  a  weird  continuous 
dull  reverberation.  Men  as  naked  and  almost  as  well  limbed 
as  Bhima  and  the  Raksha  when  they  wrestled  (and  the  fate  of 
Hidamba  was  in  the  balance)  flashed  rude  battle-axes  and 
swords  aloft  and  shouted.  These  poor  black  men  still 
worshipped  the  serpent.  They  sacrificed  a  kid  under  the 
holy  Sal  tree  as  our  party  came  up,  and  we  found  the  little 
victim  still  warm.  They  were  simple  herdsmen  and  clearers 
of  jungle  like  the  historical  and  early  sons  of  Pandu.  They 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  399 

slaughtered  deer  with  their  arrows.  They  were  brave  and 
truthful.  Even  before  a  court-martial  they  never  attempted 
to  conceal  any  acts  of  rebellion  and  breaches  of  the  law.  We 
came  upon  them  in  luxuriant  bush  amidst  woody  hillocks. 
The  sun  was  setting,  and  I  can  see  before  me  still  the  rude 
chief  brandishing  his  sword  and  uttering  his  defiance  to  the 
bullets  that  were  whistling  near  him.  Mismanagement  had 
driven  these  men  (they  were  called  Santals)  into  revolt.  Their 
lair  consisted  of  a  few  rude  huts  roofed  with  dried  boughs. 

I  think  this  experience  is  of  use  to  me  in  enabling  me  to 
understand  the  great  battle  of  Kuru  Kshetra.  Axes  and 
swords  flashed  ;  the  drum  of  Rudra  rolled  incessantly.  It  is 
called  a  "  thunder  "  in  more  than  one  passage.  We  here  get 
the  root  idea  of  that  popular  military  instrument.  Conch 
shells  sounded.  Even  the  five  heroic  sons  of  Pandu  con 
descended  to  intimidate  their  foes  with  loud  blasts  of  that 
archaic  music.  From  the  paramount  importance  given  to 
archery  in  all  the  Indian  epics,  I  think  the  chief  tactics  on 
these  occasions  consisted  in  first  trying  to  weaken  portions  of 
the  enemy's  line  with  a  skilful  use  of  the  bow.  We  hear 
of  terrible  charges  of  "  thousands  "  of  elephants,  and  tens  of 
thousands  of  war  chariots  ;  but,  if  any  such  organized  and  com 
bined  attack  had  been  made,  the  battle  would  have  been 
ended  in  half  an  hour.  The  commander-in-chief  of  the  Kuru 
army,  Bhishma,  was  a  wonderful  bowman.  Sweta,  the  rival 
commander-in-chief,  was  almost  his  equal.  When  com- 
manders-in-chief  are  selected  for  their  skill  in  archery,  we 
may  be  sure  that  much  of  the  battle  will  take  place  with 
the  two  forces  not  nearer  than  convenient  bow-shot  distance. 

And  this  seems  to  have  been  what  really  occurred. 
"  Heroes  sounded  hundreds  of  drums  and  sent  up  noble 
shouts  of  war." 1  "  Torrents  "  of  arrows  passed  between  the 
armies  ;  and  the  click  of  the  bow-string  against  the  hand- 
leather  dominated  the  bells  of  the  elephants  and  the  neighing 
of  the  horses.  The  rival  commanders  had  to  show  them 
selves  in  the  front  of  the  battle,  and  the  early  descriptions 
are  devoted  chiefly  to  them. 

1  "Bhishma  Parva,"  1631. 


400  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

"They  described  various  circles,  sweeping  forward  and 
back,  so  great  was  the  skill  of  their  coachmen.  Each  watched 
his  opportunity  for  an  attack."  They  sounded  their  conchs 
to  outroar  the  din  of  battle.  They  emptied  their  quivers 
with  terrible  effect. 

If  an  archaic  Jomini  had  had  to  draw  up  the  three  great 
maxims  of  ancient  battle,  they  must  have  been  the  following  : — 

1.  Try  with  your  arrows  to  make  the  rival  commander-in- 
chief  as  much  like  "&  poulet piqiie  au  lard as  is  practicable. 

2.  Try  and  kill  the  horse  of  his  chariot. 

3.  Try  and  knock  over  his  banner. 

Of  these  maxims  the  last  was  evidently  considered  the 
most  important.  Archers  were  trained  by  Brahmins,  and 
charms  and  incantations  were  deemed  more  potent  than  eye 
and  muscle.  From  the  pains  taken  to  strike  down  a  hero's 
banner  it  is  plain  that  it  was  held  to  possess  some  weird 
influence.  It  was  important  to  slay  the  horse,  because  when 
the  warrior  alighted  he  ran  a  great  danger  of  being  ridden 
over  and  trampled  to  death.  The  feat  of  transfixing  his  body 
with  many  arrows  seemed  to  be  held  in  less  esteem.  The 
commanders-in-chief,  Bhishma  and  Sweta.  in  their  great 
personal  encounter,  are  stated  to  have  been  both  stuck  all 
over  with  shafts,  without  apparently  arresting  their  ardour. 
And  Dhrishtadyumna  put  "  ninety  sharp  arrows "  into 
Drona.1 

Sweta  lost  his  car  and  was  killed  eventually  by  Bhishma. 
The  shafts  of  that  terrible  archer  created  something  like 
a  panic  in  the  army  of  the  sons  of  Pandu. 

Although  much  in  his  narrative  is  mystic,  the  poet  gives 
us  a  real  picture  of  an  Indian  battle  in  those  ancient  times. 
We  have  the  flights  of  arrows,  the  single  combats  with  dart 
and  sabre,  with  breast-plate  and  shield.  Duryodhana  and 
Kama  are  conspicuous  for  their  prowess  in  one  part  of  the 
field.  Arjuna  and  Bhima  are  terrible  in  another.  The  fight 
lasts  several  days,  and  soon  the  spectacle  of  the  theatre  of 
carnage  is  frightful  to  contemplate. 

"  The  field  of  battle  was  covered  with  tall  chiefs,  sons  of 
1  "  Bhishma  Parva,"  2200. 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  40 1 

kings  dying  or  dead,  wearing  their  earrings  and  armlets. 
There  were  chariots  with  broken  wheels,  and  crushed 
elephants.  Foot  soldiers  fled  pell-mell  amongst  the  horse 
men.  Fighting  men  in  chariots  fell  in  all  directions.  Over 
turned  cars  and  torn  flags,  wheels  and  shafts,  encumbered  the 
ground. 

"  Bathed  in  the  red  blood  of  many  horses  and  elephants 
and  brave  men,  the  battle-field  shone  out  like  a  cloud  of 
autumn. 

"Dogs  and  crows,  vultures  and  jackals,  snarled  and 
snapped  and  pecked  over  this  rich  prey.  Quadrupeds  and 
birds  of  the  air  became  fierce  foes. 

"  The  winds  moaned  with  the  voice  of  the  Rakshasas,  the 
murky  legions  of  hell."  l 

But  Bhishma  is  still  the  great  hero,  and  many  kings  visit 
the  world  of  Yama.  The  ten  points  of  heaven  are  darkened 
with  his  shafts. 

"  He  stood  bow  in  hand  between  the  two  armies,  and  no 
king  could  fix  his  eye  upon  him.  None  can  stare  at  the 
blinding  sun  in  the  noontide  of  his  career." 

At  length,  on  the  tenth  day  of  the  fight,  Arjuna  drew 
near,  with  his  ape  banner  fluttering  in  the  breeze.  The  bow 
Gandiva  was  pitted  against  the  powerful  bow  of  Bhishma. 
Other  heroes  came  up  to  assist  the  brave  son  of  Pandu. 
Shafts  in  thousands  flew  at  the  heroic  Bhishma  ;  his  breast 
plate  was  beaten  to  pieces,  and  his  body  torn  with  darts  and 
javelins  and  golden  arrows,  with  clubs,  with  the  weapon 
called  "  scorpion  "  (Sathagni),  with  the  mysterious  Bhusundi, 
which  many  scholars  conceive  to  have  been  a  pre-historic  piece 
of  artillery.  At  last  his  banner  is  lying  in  the  bloody  mud,  the 
vexed  hero  is  brought  to  the  ground,  and  the  fierce  battle  is 
hushed  with  the  crash  of  his  fall.  Heroes  of  both  armies 
crowd  round  him,  and  the  bright  forms  of  Vyasa  and  other 
heavenly  messengers  are  patent  to  his  dying  eyes.  They  tell 
him  that  the  portals  of  Swarga,  the  shining  refuge  of  the 
brave  man  who  falls  in  battle,  are  already  swinging  wide  open 
to  receive  him. 

1  "  Bhishma  Parva,"  vv.  5504-10. 

2   D 


402  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

The  account  of  his  death  is  very  pathetic.  His  body  is  so 
transfixed  with  shafts  that  they  actually  prop  him  up  on  the 
bloody  battle-field.  He  calls  this  heroic  couch,  a  bed  of 
arrows.  Also  he  goes  so  far  as  to  demand  a  grim  boon  from 
Arjuna,  three  new  arrows  to  act  as  a  pillow  and  prop  up  his 
head.  Leeches  draw  near,  and  cunning  arrow-extractors,  but 
he  beckons  them  away. 

"  The  shafts  of  Arjuna  are  the  messengers  of  Yama,"  he 
says.  "  They  pierce  through  strong  breast-plates,  and  like 
serpents  full  of  venom  they  eat  into  my  flesh.  They  are  not 
like  the  puny  missiles  Sikhandi." 

He  lingers  until  the  sun's  cycle  has  reached  "  the  northern 
point "  (entered  Sagittarius),  and  then  the  white  swans  of 
Swarga  fly  down  and  carry  off  his  soul. 

Plainly  in  the  epic  there  are  two  Rudras — one  the  vulgar 
villain,  with  the  poison  of  the  scorpion.  He  is  Duryodhana. 
But  Bhishma  in  this  canto  is  noble  and  majestic.  The  sun  is 
in  Scorpio,  and  the  shapeless  monolith  worshipped  during  the 
month  would  represent  to  the  Vedic  worshipper  the  storm- 
cloud  with  its  many  shining  arms.  Its  lightnings  spread 
death  and  desolation,  but  still  it  is  an  aspect  of  the  Eternal 
as  much  as  the  smiling  flowers  of  May.  It  is  to  be  remarked 
that  the  war  arose  from  the  capture  of  cattle  by  the  sons  of 
Kuru.  The  demon  Vritra  had  carried  them  to  his  celebrated 
cavern.  The  last  act  of  Bhishma  is  to  request  Arjuna  to 
give  him  water.  This  is  effected  by  an  arrow  which  creates 
a  spring  in  the  ground.  The  thunderbolt  of  Indra  calls 
forth  the  fertilizing  moisture  of  the  storm.  The  hero  with 
his  thousand  adhering  arrows  is  Scorpio  again  with  his 
thousand  arms,  and  the  "pillow"  the  tridentine  horns  or 
crest.  In  case  this  somewhat  overdone  symbolism  should 
still  fail  to  impress  initiates,  King  Yudhishthira  before  the 
battle  takes  off  his  breast-plate  and  tiara,  and  goes  forward  to 
kiss  Bhishma's  feet,  humble  and  naked,  like  a  slave. 

The  fall  of  Bhishma,  in  the  old  story,  was  probably  the 
end  of  the  campaign  ;  but  ballad-makers  like  plenty  of  fight 
ing.  Drona  succeeds  Bhishma,  but  he  is  decapitated  by 
Dhrishta-dyumna,  the  rival  commander-in-chief.  Bhima 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  403 

encounters  Duhsasena,  who  had  dragged  in  Draupadi  when 
she  was  won  as  a  slave.  As  a  retaliation,  Bhima  cuts  off  his 
head  and  drinks  his  blood  on  the  field  of  battle.  The  mighty 
Kama's  head  is  also  taken  off  by  a  weapon  called  an  anjalika, 
launched  by  Arjuna.  Duryodhana,  by-and-by,  is  the  only 
chief  of  note  left  alive.  He  escapes  to  a  subaqueous  cavern. 
There  he  is  sheltered  by  his  magic  arts  for  a  time ;  but,  stung 
by  the  taunts  of  his  foes,  he  agrees  to  come  out  and  fight 
Bhima  with  a  club.  Bhima  slays  him.  Nearly  all  the  forces, 
even  of  the  sons  of  Pandu,  were  slain  in  the  great  fight.  For 
victory  Yudhishthira  had  a  depeopled  Indraprastha. 

The  termination  of  the  epic  is  so  beautiful  that  it  has  been 
often  translated.  The  five  sons  of  Pandu,  tired  even  of  a 
heaven  in  the  Khandava  wood,  resolve  to  journey  to  the 
eternal  city  on  the  steeps  of  Mount  Meru.  They  depart  with 
the  royal  Draupadi.  Behind  them  follows  a  dog.  The  king, 
Yudhishthira,  is  seventh  in  the  procession.  Townsmen  and 
the  women  of  the  palace  accompany  them  for  a  short  way, 
but  none  say  "  Return  !  "  The  citizens  at  last  bid  farewell  to 
the  pilgrims.  Then  the  five  sons  of  Pandu  and  the  queen 
journey  towards  the  east.  They  yearn  for  union  with  Brahm. 
All  worldly  thoughts  are  suffocated.  They  pass  many  a  sea 
and  river,  and  many  weary  lands.  Yudhishthira  walks  in 
front,  then  Bhima,  then  Arjuna  ;  The  Twins  follow.  Then 
comes  the  Pearl  of  Wives — the  woman  with  the  lotus 
eyes.  The  dog  walks  last.  On  the  shore  of  a  mighty  ocean 
Arjuna  casts  into  the  waves  the  celebrated  bow  Gandiva  and 
the  magic  double  quiver.  Soon  the  tall  steeps  of  Himavat 
glow  above  them.  Beyond  the  Himalayas  is  a  sea  of  sand. 
Across  this  the  pilgrims  footed  wearily  in  the  direction  of  the 
Hindoo  Koosh,  which  probably  contains  the  highest  mountain 
peaks  of  the  world.  By-and-by — glad  sight — the  icy  spires 
of  the  heavenly  mount  are  seen  glowing  pink  in  the  evening. 
But  poor  Draupadi  can  only  see  the  promised  land  from  afar. 
She  falls  with  weariness.  Arjuna  and  the  Twins  also  perish. 
Stout  Bhima  is  astonished  at  this,  and  comes  to  the  conclu 
sion  that  they  are  all  too  gross  for  heaven. 

This  mysticism  is  a  little  intricate.     We  have  seen  from 


404  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

the  Aitareya  Brahmanam  that  Prajapati — the  Divine  Male — is 
the  year.  He  is  Animisha,  the  Sleepless  God,  and  starts  at 
the  end  of  February — a  month  whose  symbol  is  quadruple. 
In  all  the  old  creeds  this  early  god  was  quadruple.  Bhima 
and  the  Twins  and  Arjuna  (the  bow)  die,  or  are  passed  in  the 
zodiac  before  Yudhishthira,  whose  symbol  is  the  Man  with 
the  vase  of  Ichor,  dominates.  He  stands  alone  with  Yama's 
dog.  Madame  Blavatsky  gives  seven  stages  of  spiritual  pro 
gress  which  mortals  after  thousands  and  thousands  of  re-births 
will  successively  reach. 

1.  The  body  (Rupa). 

2.  Vitality  (Jiva). 

3.  Astral  body  (Linga  sarira). 

4.  Animal  soul  (Kama  rupa), 

5.  Human  soul  (Manas). 

6.  Spiritual  soul  (Buddhi). 

7.  Spirit  (Atma). 

This,  by  many  theosophists  who  have  lost  faith  in  the 
Russian  lady,  is  still  thought  to  be  the  esoteric  doctrine  of 
India,  disclosed  by  Mr.  Subba  Row,  I  must  acquit  that 
Hindoo  of  any  such  complicity.  These  stages,  if  taken  lite 
rally,  and  that  we  may  take  them  literally  Mr.  Sinnett  gives 
the  Sanskrit  words,  are  pure  nonsense.  Body,  vitality, 
animalism,  soul,  and  spirit  (five  of  the  stages),  must  be  acquired 
simultaneously  with  individuality.  But  the  hand  of  a  Western 
is  patent.  All  Easterns  know  that  the  linga  sarira  is  the 
envelope  of  the  soul  from  the  moment  of  its  existence, 
and  in  a  re-birth  may  have  been  in  existence  fifty  thousand 
years  before  the  body  then  assumed.1  The  teachings  of 
Madame  Blavatsky  were  thus  condensed  in  an  article  in  the 
Saturday  Review,  which  criticised  my  "  Koot  Hoomi  Un 
veiled  " — 

1.  There  is  no  God. 

2.  The  great  secret  of  magic  is  to  perform  miracles  with 
His  "  ineffable  name." 

3.  Annihilation  is  the  reward  of  the  just. 

4.  Annihilation  is  the  punishment  of  the  wicked. 

1  Colebrooke's  "  Essays,"  vol.  i.  p.  245. 


THE  MAHABHARATA.  405 

It  is  to  be  confessed  that  many  graver  teachers  in  India 
and  the  West  have  held  some  of  these  views  ;  but  the  original 
Mahabharata  knew  nothing  of  the  modern  misty  doctrines  of 
Moksha  and  Nirvana.  The  hero  goes  to  the  eternal  heaven 
of  God,  a  heaven  tenanted  by  the  seven  great  legions  of  dead 
men  made  wise  (vidyadharas).  I  will  conclude  with  a  fine 
hymn  that  shows  this. 

HYMN  TO  THE  SUN. 

Eye  of  the  World  art  thou  ! 
The  soul  of  every  mortal  and  the  Womb 
Of  Being ! 

The  huckster  on  the  mart, 
The  calm  philosopher  removed  from  broils, 

The  yogi  by  his  tree, 

All  turn  to  thee. 

Natheless  thou  art  the  Way ! 

The  Gate  of  Freedom  ! 
Thou  bear'st  the  burthen  of  the  universe, 

Lighting  the  gleaming  worlds. 

And  glowing  with  thy  beams 
Our  hearts  grow  pure  ;  and  villainy 

Lets  fall  his  cloak. 

Along  the  giddy  pathway  of  the  skies 
Thy  car  sails  on  to  sound  of  mortal  hymns 

And  heavenly  voices  : 

The  sweet  Gandharves,  the  minstrels  of  the  stars, 
The  mighty  Thirty-Three  take  up  the  sound. 
Thee,  with  rich  lore  of  mystic  rites, 
Adoring,  to  celestial  eminence 

Indra  arrived. 
And  crowned  with  deathless  flowers 

Plucked  from  immortal  steeps, 
The  Vidyadharas  round  thee  stand 

Celestial  courtiers, 

The  seven  great  legions  of  dead  men  made  wise. 
In  all  the  hemispheres  that  zone  on  zone 
Climb  up  to  Brahma's  bliss,  is  none  like  thee  ! 
Thou  art  the  Light  of  Lights.     Thy  name  is  Power, 

Thy  name  is  Love, 

Thy  name  is  Truth. 
Thee  Visvakarma,  heavenly  architect, 
Gave  the  great  wheel  that  girds  the  ambient  skies  : 
Rise  up  each  morn,  sweet  Light,  or  we  are  blind. 


406  BUDDHISM  IN  CHRISTENDOM. 

A  myriad  years,  so  say  our  oracles, 
Make  up  that  mighty  cycle  which  we  call 

A  Day  of  Brahma  ; 
Of  which  thou  art  the  Embryo  and  End, 

The  First  and  Last ! 
And  soon  thy  fires  from  out  the  womb  of  earth, 

Hungry  and  vast, 

Midst  many  thunders  pealing  through  the  skies, 
And  silent  serpents  shining  in  the  cloud, 
A  million  worlds  shall  melt  to  nothingness 
And  lay  a  dead  race  by  its  slumbering  brothers  ; 

Men  call  thee  many  names  : 
The  Twelve  Adityas  of  the  Zone  of  Heaven, 
Indra,  and  Rudra,  Vishnu,  Soul  and  Fire  ! 
Eternal  Brahma,  Vivasvat,  Pushan, 

Eternal  Lord  ; 

The  Bird  whose  wings  bring  mortals  skyey  thought, 
The  Nurse,  The  Egg  of  Death,  the  Sire  of  Day. 
The  Mother  of  sweet  Hours,  the  glittering  God 
With  locks  of  sunbeams  and  untiring  steeds ; 
Thee  I  salute.     Who  trusts  in  thee 

Shall  know  no  sorrow  ! 


INDEX. 


Acharya,  217 

Adam,  the  Book  of,  95,  102 

Adi  Buddha,  supreme  god  in  Nepal 
and  Tibet,  197 

Aditi,  the  Vedic  universal  mother,  376 

Adityas,  sons  of  Aditi,  the  months 
deified,  307 

^Eons,  234 

Agnosticism  of  early  Buddhism  dis 
proved,  216,  217 

Airavana,  the  elephant  born  of  the 
water,  7 

Alexandria,  important  position  of,  232 

Amaravati,  bas-reliefs  from,  83 

Amrita,  Pali  Amata,  immortality, 
"bread  of  life,"  the  food  of  the 
sacrifice  after  consecration,  83 

Arahat,  one  emancipated  from  re-births, 
an  adept,  93 

Aries,  a  horse  in  the  Indian  zodiac, 
330 

Arrah,  the  Grove  of  Perfection,  305 

Architecture,  206 

Arupuloka,  heavens  where  form  ceases, 

222 

Asita  and  Simeon,  analogy  between,  20 

Asoka  on  "  God,"  the  future  life, 
prayer,  mysticism,  etc.  219,  220;  his 
attitude  towards  Buddhism,  215 

Atheism  of  early  Buddhism  disproved, 
216,  217 

Avataras,  365 

Avesthas,  v. 


Avichi,  the  "  rayless  place,  hell, 
purgatory,  21 1 

B 

Bactria,  384 

Baptism,  Buddhist  rite  of,  80 

Baptist,  99 

Beal,  Professor,  206 

Bhagavat,  162 

Bhagavad  Gita,  380 

Bhikshu,  beggar,  143 

Bigandet,  Bishop,  227,  etc. 

Bimbisara  and  Herod,  24 

Blavatsky,  dishonesty  of  Madame,  ex 
posed,  358 

Bloody  sacrifice,  specially  attacked  by 
Buddha  and  his  missionaries,  77 

Bodhi,  the  awakening  of  the  spiritual 
life  of  the  individual,  I 

Body  corporate  ;  priestly  religion  ; 
religion  by,  288 

Brahma,  union  with,  6 1 

Brotherly  Love,  the  Buddha  of,  vii. 

Buddha,  esoterically  God,  exoterically 
Sakya  Muni,  9 

results  of  his  movement,  222  ; 

comes  down  to  earth  as  a  white 
elephant,  7  ;  miraculous  birth,  17  ; 
marriage,  47  ;  the  four  presaging 
tokens,  47  ;  leaves  the  palace,  57  ; 
sits  under  the  tree  of  knowledge,  no  ; 
on  the  Brahmin  religion,  57  ;  his 
reform,  61  ;  begins  to  preach,  213  ; 
the  historical  Buddha,  213 


408 


INDEX. 


Buddha,  the  supreme,  197 

Buddhas  of  the  past,  still  worshipped  ; 

proof  that  the  nihilistic  school  was 

an  innovating  one,  221 
Buthos,   the  Gnostic,  the  same  as  the 

Buddhist  Nirvritti,  234 


Ceylon,  218 

Chaitya,  215,  221 

Chakra,   the   swastika   cross,  in   early 

Indian  zodiac,  213 
Christianity,  the  higher,  288 
,    lower,  tries     to    combine     two 

antagonistic    ideas,    Gnosticism   and 

the  lower  Judaism,  288 
Colebrooke,  Henry,  best  astronomer  of 

Orientalists,  19  ;  on  the  seven  Vedic 

heavens,  21 1  ;    derives  Buddha's  life 

from    Rama,    314;    higher   wisdom, 

390  ;  linga  sarira,  404 
Corban,    the   sacrament   in  the  Greek 

Church,  85 
Cosmology,     the    Buddhist,    disproves 

nihilism  in  early  Buddhism,  221 
Coulomb,    a    confederate   of    Madame 

Blavatsky  ;  revelations  of,  358 
Cross,   the  sign  of,  in  Buddhism  and 

Christianity,  213 

D 

Davids,  T.  W.  Rhys,  186,  216 

"  Dhammapada,"  161 

Dharma,    second    person   of    Buddhist 

triad,  198 

— ,  the  laws  of  spirit,  the  wisdom  of 

the  other  bank,  198  ;  personified  as 

a  divine  woman,  198 
Divo  Vriksha,  sacred  tree  of  the  "  Rig 

Veda,"  338 
Dragon,  the  celestial,  200 


Elephant,  called  Bodhi,  Aravana,  born 
of  the  waters  ;  symbol  of  the  holy 
spirit,  7 

"  Esoteric  Buddhism  "  a  pure  inven 
tion  of  Madame  Blavatsky,  358,  359 

Essenes  described,  73 


Fasting,  Buddha's  forty-seven  days,  112 

Feeding,  Buddha,  85 

Fergusson,  James,  206 

Fish,  214 

Flabellum,  or  fan,  in  early  church,  202 

Foucaux,  Philippe  Edouard,  5,  etc. 

Freemasonry,  360 


Garuda,  339 

Garutmat,   the   winged  sun,   the  early 

scales  of  the  zodiac,  339 
Gnosis,  2 
Gnostics,  233,  et  seq. 


H 

Hanuman,  322 
Heavenly  man,  9 

Hodgson,  Brian,  the  orientalist,  235,  etc. 
—  R.,  his  able  exposure  of  Madame 
Blavatsky,  358 
Horse,  330 
Horses,  the  four  of  the  Apocalypse,  37 


I 


Idols,  homage  of,   to  Buddha   and  to 

Christ,  28 

Inconceivable  God,  6 
Indra,  340 


Jesus,  genealogies,  10  ;  miraculous  con 
ception,  II  ;  birth,  19;  the  star  and 
the  Magi,  19;  Herod,  24;  disputa 
tion  with  the  doctors,  31  ;  Egypt,  35  ; 
the  Nazarite,  64 ;  Jesus  and  the 
Baptist,  107  ;  monastery  of  our  Lord, 
127  ;  twelve  disciples,  138  ;  Essenism 
in  the  New  Testament,  144  ;  Sermon 
on  the  Mount,  153 ;  on  the  Me 
tempsychosis,  164;  descent  into  hell, 
189;  Transfiguration,  191;  Last 
Supper,  193;  full  force  of  His  great 
work  misunderstood,  165 ;  appears 
to  James  on  the  night  of  the  Cruci 
fixion,  252 


INDEX. 


409 


Jinas,  221 

John  the  Baptist,  99 

Jordan,  103 

K 

"Kabbalah,"  3,  86 

Karli,  cave  temple  of,  206 

Karma,  the  effects  of  sins  or  good 
deeds,  which  are  supposed  to  land 
the  doer  in  the  hell  Avlchi  or  the 
heavens  of  the  Devaloka,  and  detain 
him  until  the  said  Karma  is  ex 
hausted.  He  is  then  born  once  more 
into  the  world,  his  Karma  influencing 
the  new  birth,  211,  222 

Kellogg,  Professor,  16 

Koot  Hoomi,  357 

Krishna,  365,  et  scq. 

Kumbha,  the  Indian  Aquarius,  120 


"  Lalita  Vistara,"  5 

Lama,  the  grand,  successor  of  Buddhist 

high  priest  at  Nalanda,  227 
Lightfoot,  Bishop,  257 
Liturgy,  205 
Lower  world,  a  pattern  of  the  upper, 

in  the  "  Kabbalah,"  5 


.\r 


"  Mahabharata,"  384 

Mahacleo,  a  monolith  or  menhir, 
"  Great  God,"  a  name  of  Siva,  307 

Mandala,  mystic  ring,  372 

Mansel,  Dean,  on  the  derivation  of  the 
Therapeuts  from  Buddhist  mission 
aries,  2 

Mantra,  prayer,  charm,  224 

Milman,  Dean,  75 

Monastery  of  our  Lord,  127 

Mysteries,  literal  translation  of  sacra 
ment,  83 

Mystical  Israel,  73 

N 

Nairanjana,  114 

Name-giving  of  Jesus,  not  a  Jewish 
rite,  22 


Nalanda,  216 

Nazarites  or  Hebrews,  gospel  of,  252 

Nirvana,  221 

Nirvanapura,  221 


Origen,  on  the  function  of  Scriptures,  4 
Osiris,  347 


Padmapani,  235 

Pandu,  from  "  Pandeo,"  the  five  gods, 

386  ;  five  sons  of,  384 
Paramitas,  90,  et  seq. 
Philo,  73 
Pleroma,  234 
Pope,  227 
Prajna,  12 
Pravritti,